London: British Foreign Secretary
William Hague insisted today that relations with the United
States were "excellent" as he sought to draw a line under
strains over BP and the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
US President Barack Obama spoke to Prime Minister
David Cameron yesterday about his criticism of the British oil
giant and assured him it had "nothing to do with national
identity", amid fears it could stoke an anti-British backlash.
Asked in a BBC interview on Sunday whether the issue
was now closed, Hague said: "Yes, I think so. Relations
between the UK and the US are excellent."
He added: "What`s really important here is the work
that BP is doing and that US officials are doing to mitigate
the consequences, however they can, of this catastrophic oil
US Ambassador to London Louis Susman told the same
programme that criticism of BP`s response to the oil spill was
"not a diplomatic issue".
"President Obama and the administration would
probably have said the same thing if it had been an American
company," he said.
He added: "So while it might seem a bit
undiplomatic in terms of the words, trust me it had nothing to
do with the fact that it was British or American."
Susman concluded: "We feel we have no better ally,
no greater friend than the United Kingdom."