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Brown hopeful of good ties with Bush successor PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 20 April 2008

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Thursday that US-British ties would remain "steadfast" whoever succeeds US President George W. Bush after November''s election, reports AFP.

Brown said he was "delighted" to meet the three leading contenders-Democrats Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, and Republican John McCain-before holding talks at the White House with Bush.

"What I was convinced of, after talking to each of them ... is that the relationship between America and Britain will remain strong, remain steadfast," the prime minister said at a joint news conference with Bush.

The president denied that transatlantic relations had frayed under Tony Blair''s successor as British leader, insisting his relationship with Brown was "great." Like Brown, Bush underlined the US-British endeavor in Iraq, Afghanistan and the struggle against extremism, which he called the "fundamental threat facing civilization of the 21st century."

"So our relationship is very special and I am confident future presidents will keep it that way," said Bush, also valuing his "personal friendship" with Brown, which does not appear to come close to his warm alliance with Blair.

"If there wasn''t a personal relationship, I wouldn''t be inviting the man to a nice hamburger," Bush said ahead of a social dinner with Brown and the two leaders'' wives Thursday evening. Brown met the three White House candidates at the British ambassador''s residence for about 45 minutes each, joking to McCain that the US presidential campaign seemed to be going on forever.

Britain''s parliamentary system might be preferable for its swift election campaigns and abrupt changes of power, the Republican quipped. Clinton said that in her meeting with Brown, they discussed Iraq, Afghanistan, China, climate change and the international economy.

"The enduring friendship between the United States and Great Britain has strengthened our two nations throughout our history," the New York senator said in a statement, saying the relationship "will continue to deepen."

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