Brown stresses on strong ties with US
London, July 29, 2007
Britain's new leader Gordon Brown stamped on talk of cooler relations with Washington, saying before his first meeting with President George W Bush that the bond between the countries remained strong.
Brown flies to the United States on Sunday for his first meeting with Bush since he succeeded Tony Blair as British prime minister a month ago.
Some of Brown's ministerial appointments and a comment by one of Brown's ministers that Brown and Bush were unlikely to be "joined together at the hip" have fuelled speculation that the cozy relationship Bush had with Blair would change under Brown.
Blair was Bush's closest ally in the invasion of Iraq, but Brown is well aware that the war's unpopularity in Britain was one of the factors that forced Blair to step down early in June after a decade in power.
Brown, who was Blair's finance minister, said in a statement released before his trip that ties with the United States should be Britain's "single most important bilateral relationship".
"It is a relationship that is founded on our common values of liberty, opportunity and the dignity of the individual. And because of the values we share, the relationship with the United States is not only strong but can become stronger in the years ahead," he said.
None of the world's major problems could be solved without the active engagement of the United States, Brown said.
"We will continue to work very closely together as friends to tackle the great global challenges of the future," he said, adding that the relationship between a US president and a British prime minister would always be strong. - Reuters