British Prime Minister David Cameron postponed a key speech on Europe to deal with the hostage crisis Friday. After chairing an emergency meeting with ministers, he briefed parliament.
"I offered UK technical and intelligence support - including from experts in hostage negotiation and rescue - to help find a successful resolution. And I urged that we and other countries affected should be consulted before any action was taken," said Cameron.
Dismay at Algeria's handling
Observers say that the diplomatic language masks the anger in European capitals and beyond over the way Algeria has handled the hostage crisis.
Graham Hand is a former British ambassador to Algeria.
“I think they’ve let us down. But this is not untypical Algerian behavior. It is to do with the fact that Algerians are proud, independent people, they would want to sort this out in their own way,” he said.
Hand said the attack marks a new departure for Islamist terrorists in Algeria.
“They really have not hit the oil and gas installations, of which there are many. And I think the fear must be that if this is the start of a new trend, then Algeria is going to have a huge problem,” said Hand.