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Highlights of David Cameron's press conference with Barack Obama

Picture 14
By Jonathan Isaby
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David Cameron and Barack Obama have just given a joint news conference in the garden at Lancaster House in central London.

Here are the main points of what was said (not verbatim):

David Cameron

On Obama
I've got to know him well - whether in routine situations or through phone calls in the middle of the night; I  value his leadership and courage and the thoughtful consideration and reason he brings on all the big issues.

On the relationship between the countries
We have a history of working together in many areas such as the military, science and business, with people forging friendships together. The relationship is special and essential; it's a living, working partnership, not just a historical one.

On today's talks
We had excellent discussions, covering two priorities - getting people jobs and keeping people safe.

On the economy
We've got to pay our way and earn our way. We didn't come into politics to cut public spending, but we also musn't land our kids with unsustainable debts. In the coming years, debt ratios will fall on both sides of the Atlantic.

On security issues
You don't need to explain terrorism to the US or Britain - we have both suffered at its hands. Samantha was in Manhaattan on 9/11 and I remember spending five hours trying to get hold of her. We remember the spirit of New Yorkers and feel sympathy with those who lost loved ones.

To defeat al-Qaeda, we must continue to destroy the terrorist network.The US forces should be congratulated for finding bin Laden. We must work with Pakistan, which has sufered more than any country from terrorism. We have broken the momentum of the insurgency in Afghanistan; now is the time to step up the political process

We must reach a conclusion in the Arab-Israel peace process. I congratulate Barack on his bold, visionary speech on the peace process. The road will be long and arduous but the prize is clear.

We must help elevate changes in north Africa and the Arab world from being a moment in history to a turning point in history. It is a once in a generation moment.

In Libya we will continue to enforce UN resolutions. It is impossible to imagine a future for Libya with Gaddafi in power -  he must go.

Conclusion of main statement
Barack and I came of age in the 1980s and 1990s when we saw the end of the cold war, the end of communism and the liberation of Kuwait. We saw Presidents and Prime Ministers standing together for freedom and we're just as passionate today about extending freedom. Democracy will be built from the ground up and real change takes time. Our partnership will get stronger: it goes beyond foreign affairs and is about creating more responsible societies and delivering transparency and accountability in politics.

NB PoliticsHome (£) has now published a full transcript of Cameron's speech.

Barack Obama

Since David Cameron took office, we have met or spoken two dozen times. We come from different political traditions but see eye to eye on lots of issues.

We have many shared ideals and shared values. Our countries' relationship is special and essential, and is stronger than it has ever been. Our investment relationship is the largest in the world with 1 million jobs in each country depending on it, and it can be made even stronger.

(He also went over the issues the pair discussed this morning, before finally expressing confidence that the special relationship will continue to grow in the months and years ahead.)


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