(I first published this last October but thought it could be of renewed interest).
The following documents, obtained by my freedom of information request, refer to a contract signed in early 2008 between General Dynamics UK (the British arm of the US company) and the Libyan government to supply a communication system for its military.
The $165m deal was the first major defence deal between a British company and the north African state since an embargo was lifted in 2004.
The letters provide an interesting insight into the way that the Foreign Office provides help in assisting British business overseas – which is one of William Hague’s top priorities.
The redactions are by the FCO, which did not provide the dates of the letter. General Dynamics confirmed that the correspondence refers to the communciations deal.
Letter from General Dynamics United Kingdom Ltd to His Excellency, Sir Vincent Fean KCVO, Her Britannic Majesty’s Ambassador to Libya
As I sit on the aeroplane back to London after my first visit to Libya, I wanted immediately to write to thank you, not only for your extremely generous hospitality, but also for your personal interest and support on the rocky road towards success in the […] programme.
I am convinced that we would not be in the optimistic position in which we find ourselves without […] that your involvement […] and neither would we be able to make suggestions to the Libyans authorities on […] without your advice. So – my warmest thanks. We are genuinely indebted to you. Read more