Britain: US will remain our closest ally

Foreign Secretary David Miliband insisted Sunday that the United States would remain Britain’s most important ally under new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Britain: US will remain our closest ally
Foreign Secretary David Miliband insisted Sunday that the United States would remain Britain’s most important ally under new Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

After signals that London would distance itself Washington under Brown’s premiership, Miliband sought to quash such notions, calling Britain’s relationship with the United States “vital.”

“With a new Brown government some people are looking for evidence that our alliance is breaking up,” Miliband wrote in the News of the World, Britain’s biggest-selling newspaper.

“There isn’t any and there won’t be any. Nothing has changed. Our strongest bilateral relationship is with the USA.

“The US is the richest country, it has the most powerful military forces and it is driven forward by optimism and entrepreneurship — values the world needs.

“We are stronger together than apart. Our shared values give us real strength.”

Miliband said there was a “shared sacrifice — vital struggles” to build a more peaceful world through tackling climate change, African poverty and terrorism.

“None of these problems is going to be solved without the US,” he wrote in the weekly tabloid.

“It is not about a choice between British foreign policy and an alliance with America. It is about making the most of our relationship with the US.”

Brown is to meet Bush in Washington within weeks, after talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Miliband’s article is the latest seeming attempt to reassure Washington ahead of the visit.

International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander hinted Thursday at a change to transatlantic ties, telling a Washington audience that more emphasis should be placed on “soft power” and multi-lateralism.

Brown swiftly got his chief of staff to write to all cabinet members on Friday to stress the importance of links with the United States — in what some commentators saw as a damage limitation exercise.

But Lord Mark Malloch Brown, newly appointed by Brown as the minister for Africa, Asia and the United Nations, then appeared to put fresh strain on London-Washington relations in an interview published Saturday.

The former United Nations deputy secretary general said that unlike Blair, Brown would not be “joined together at the hip” with US President George W. Bush.

Nonetheless, newspapers Sunday continued to mull over the signs of a more distant partnership and realigned foreign policy under Brown, who took over from Tony Blair on June 27 and has been swift to stake out his own agenda.


AFP

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Temmuz 2007, 12:37
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