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Cameron and Obama reaffirm the "essential" US-UK relationship as they effectively threaten further military action against brutal Arab dictators

By Jonathan Isaby
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Barack Obama  David Cameron handshake Barack Obama landed in Britain for his State visit last night - twelve hours ahead of schedule, in order to avoid the delays now being caused by the volcanic ash cloud over the country.

And to coincide with the US President's arrival, he and David Cameron have written this joint op ed for this morning's Times (£) in which they begin by noting how in the 1980s "the bond between our two countries — and our two leaders at the time" brought the Cold War to an end, demonstrating that "when the United States and Britain stand together, our people and people around the world can become more secure and more prosperous."

This is as relevant today as it was then, the pair insist.

Here are the key passages of their piece:

On supporting those trying to bring democracy to the Middle East: "We will stand with those who want to bring light into dark, support those who seek freedom in place of repression, aid those laying the building blocks of democracy... And we will not stand by as their aspirations get crushed in a hail of bombs, bullets and mortar fire. We are reluctant to use force but when our interests and values come together we know that we have a responsibility to act."

On the key to the special relationship: "It is founded on a deep emotional connection, by sentiment and ties of people and culture. But the reason it thrives, the reason why this is such a natural partnership, is because it advances our common interests and shared values... Ours is not just a special relationship, it is an essential relationship — for us and for the world."

On the pair's shared view of the world: "We can honestly say that despite being two leaders from two different political traditions, we see eye to eye. We look at the world in a similar way, share the same concerns and see the same strategic possibilities."

On reaffirming trading ties: "Today the US remains the largest investor in Britain, and Britain the largest investor in the US — each supporting around a million jobs in our countries. We want to encourage more of this exchange of capital, goods and ideas."

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