`Rock solid` alliance between US and UK: Obama

Last Updated: Thursday, March 15, 2012 - 00:27

Washington: The US and the UK have a "rock
solid" alliance that has withstood the test of time, President
Barack Obama said on Wednesday, ahead of talks here with visiting
British Prime Minister David Cameron that is expected to be
dominated by the conflict in Afghanistan.

"Our world has been transformed over and over, and it
will be again. Yet, through the grand sweep of history,
through all its twists and turns, there is one constant: the
rock-solid alliance between the US and the UK, Obama said in
his address at the formal welcoming ceremony of Cameroon, who
is on a state visit to the US.

"And the reason is simple. We stand together, and we work
together, and we bleed together, and we build together in good
times and in bad because when we do, our nations are more
secure, our people are more prosperous, and the world is a
safer and better and more just place," Obama said at the White
House.

Cameron`s visit comes at a moment of growing tension for
the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, following a string of
incidents which culminated in a massacre of civilians on
Sunday by a renegade US soldier.

Talks between the two leaders are expected to discuss the
Afghanistan conflict amid rising debate about the pace of the
drawdown.

Obama has warned against a "rush for the exits" in
Afghanistan.

The visit of the British leader comes amid growing
speculation over Israeli unilateral strike against Iran in the
coming months over its row with Tehran over its nuclear
programme.

Obama said the bilateral alliance is "essential" and
"indispensable" to the security and prosperity of only for
their citizens, but for people around the world.

"And that is why, as President, I`ve made strengthening
this alliance and our alliances around the world one of my
highest foreign policy priorities," Obama said.

With pride and confidence, Obama said the relationship
between the US and the UK "is the strongest that it has ever
been".

Cameroon in his remarks vowed to strengthen the
US-Britain alliance.

He said whether it is defeating the Nazis, standing up to
the Soviets, defending the Korean Peninsula or hunting down
al Qaeda in Afghanistan, "there can be no more tangible
illustration of our two nations defending our values and
advancing our interests than the mutual sacrifice made by our
servicemen and women".

He said even as the world is changing at a faster rate
than ever before, one thing remains unchanged: "the ceaseless
back-and-forth between our two nations through ideas,
friendship, business and shared endeavor".

Standing in the sprawling White House, Cameroon said he
is "little embarrassed" to think that 200 years ago his
ancestors tried to burn this place down.

"Now, looking around me, I can see you`ve got the place a
little better defended today. You`re clearly not taking any
risks with the Brits this time,? he said amidst laughter.

Cameron said the vigorous and the lasting bilateral
relationship "draws its strength from roots far deeper and
broader than government or the military," Cameroon said.

Earlier, in a gesture meant by the White House to
highlight a bond between the two men, Cameron became the first
foreign leader to join Obama on Air Force One as the two
leaders went to Ohio to watch a college basketball game.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 19:28

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