Obama uses mom's Brit heritage to reaffirm strong US-UK ties
Washington, Mar.4 (ANI): US President Barack Obama has reaffirmed his country's special relationship with Britain, by highlighting his own mother's British heritage and pledging that the bond would "only get stronger" during his presidency.
According to The Telegraph, Obama sitting informally alongside British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the Oval Office; described the United Kingdom as one of America's "closest and strongest allies" and said the link between the countries "will not break."
"I would like to think that our relationship is good and I am sure he (Brown) won't dispute that," the paper quoted Obama, as saying.Asked how they got on as individuals, Obama said both had young families and could talk to each other about their "spectacular wives and wonderful children".
Despite suggestions that the decision not to hold a formal press conference following their private talks yesterday was a snub to Brown, Obama spoke warmly of his British counterpart and said their personal relationship was "terrific".
Pointing out that his mother's family originally came from Britain, he added: "This notion that somehow there is any lessening of that special relationship is misguided. he relationship is not only special and strong but will only get stronger as time goes on."
Obama also paid tribute to the British troops who have died in battle alongside US soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said the American people would never forget that "sacrifice."
He added: "Great Britain is one of our closest and strongest allies and there is a link and bond there that will not break."
The Prime Minister, who is the first European leader to visit the White House since Obama took over, will have been heartened by the President's words and he smiled broadly during their informal question and answer session with reporters.
The setting of the Oval Office was unusual, but intimate and the two men - while not as openly close as Tony Blair became to both Bill Clinton and George Bush - appeared at ease in each other's company.
Brown paid tribute to Obama's leadership of America in the few weeks since his inauguration.
He said: "The history books will record that what he has done in his first less than 50 days in office has been momentous."
"I have come here to renew our special relationship for new times. It is a partnership of purpose born out of shared values. It is a partnership of purpose founded on determination to rise to every challenge and it is a partnership of purpose driven forward now by the need for all of us to work together to deal with the world's economic problems," he added.Brown, a keen sports fan, said he would be unable to match Obama's basketball skills. The President replied that he had heard Brown had a "good" tennis game.
The Prime Minister said that he was sure the younger man would still beat him at that.
After a working lunch Brown began preparing for his speech to Congress today.
Brown's wife, Sarah met Michelle Obama at the White House.
Unlike previous visits by British Prime Ministers there was no dinner with both couples. (ANI)