US is most important ally of Britain: Hague

The US and the UK share "extraordinary relationship", Hague said.

Last Updated: May 15, 2010, 09:49 AM IST

Washington; The US is the "most important" ally of Britain and the two countries share "extraordinary relationship", Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Friday, setting aside all speculations about ties between America and the new Tory-led coalition government in the UK.

At his maiden press conference in the United States in capacity of the British Foreign Secretary, Hague agreed with the description of US-British ties as "extraordinary special relationship" by US President Barack Obama.

"We are very happy to accept that description and to agree with that description," Hague told reporters in his joint press availability with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.

"The United States is without doubt the most important ally of the United Kingdom. Fundamentally it is a relationship rooted in the strong alignment of our national interests, and the scope of our cooperation is unparallelled.”

“Our military, our diplomats, our intelligence and security agencies work hand in glove together," he said.

"It`s not a backward-looking or nostalgic relationship. It is one looking to the future, from combating violent extremism to addressing poverty and conflict around the world," he said, adding that he believe the UK and the US share common priorities to an extraordinary degree.

"We will continue to pursue these priorities in what I think we can confidently say is an unbreakable alliance. It is on that basis that I`ve so much enjoyed our talk today," Hague said.

In response to a media question following the talks, Hillary said she is not at all concerned about the coalition government in Britain.

"I have absolutely no concerns whatsoever. We don`t formally have a coalition government in the way that you have formed one in the UK now, but we have enough of our own internal differences that we have to sort through," she said.

"So I see nothing at all unusual about this new government. And from our perspective, it is off to a very strong start. And certainly on the foreign-policy front, which I follow very closely, obviously, we are extremely pleased. This meeting and discussion just confirms our close partnership and our commitment to working together," Hillary said.

Responding to a question on the nature of the new government in Britain, Hague said: "I think it`s very important for our partners and friends around the world to know that what we`ve set out to achieve here is a particularly stable period in British politics and government."

Noting that two of the three political parties that fought in the election have come together to support the national interests ahead of the parties interests, creating as they have done so a sizable majority in the House of Commons to sustain a government over a full five-year term.

"I think there has been a strong welcome for that around the world, because it -- mean stability in Britain to pursue the kinds of objectives that we`ve been talking about today.”

“Everything I`ve said today about our approach to relations with the United States is an approach shared by the whole Cabinet.”

“And I`m speaking on behalf of a united government," Hague said.