Brown plans Washington talks with Bush

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to fly to Washington within weeks for White House talks with US President George W Bush, Downing Street said Friday.

Brown plans Washington talks with Bush
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to fly to Washington within weeks for White House talks with US President George W Bush, Downing Street said Friday.

No fixed date has yet been announced for the visit, Browns official spokesman said.

Confirmation of the visit came as the spokesman described as "nonsense" interpretations of a speech given by Britains new International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander.

They had suggested Alexander, a confidante of Brown, was trying to distance the UK from American foreign policy.

Brown today told BBC domestic radio "We will not allow people to separate us from the United States of America in dealing with the common challenges that we face around the world."

"I think people have got to remember that the relationship between Britain and America and between a British prime minister and an American president is built on the things that we share, the same enduring values about the importance of liberty, opportunity, and the dignity of the individual." "I will continue to work, as (former British Prime Minister) Tony Blair did, very closely with the American administration," he said.

Brown has spoken to Bush three times since becoming Prime Minister, including a lengthy video conference call earlier this week, Downing Street added.

Alexander had called in his speech for the virtues of "soft power" to be recognised. He told an audience in Washington that nations had to build "new alliances" which "reach out to the world." That was interpreted by some as a change in tack on relations with the White House.

The Prime Ministers spokesman hit back by saying "I thought the interpretation that was put on Douglas Alexander's words was quite extraordinary." "To interpret this as saying anything at all about our relationship with the US is nonsense." Brown's trip to Washington will not, however, be his first overseas foray. The Prime Minister will fly to Berlin next week for talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Shortly afterwards he will have talks in Paris with French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Brown's spokesman said the talks over dinner with the German Chancellor would be "wide-ranging." Brown has met Merkel before, but this will be their first meeting since he took over at No 10.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 13 Temmuz 2007, 16:11
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