British Prime Minister David Cameron is in Washington for his first meeting as leader with President Barack Obama.
It comes at a time when the BP oil spill has made “British” rather a dirty word in some circles, and when both countries are re-assessing their role in the war in Afghanistan.
“Indeed over the coming year Afghans will begin to take the lead in security and in July of next year we’ll begin to transfer some of our forces out of Afghanistan,” said President Obama.
Cameron was keen to try and reverse some of the bad press Britain has been getting over the Gulf oil spill, and promised BP would pay;
“Like President Obama I’ve also been clear that it is BP’s role to cap the leak, to clean up the mess and to pay appropriate compensations,” said Cameron.
He also said he’d been troubled by the release of the Lockerbie bomber and recent claims BP may have been involved;
“In terms of an inquiry I’m not currently minded that we need to have a UK-based inquiry on this, probably for this reason: I don’t need an inquiry to tell me what was a bad decision: it was a bad decision, and if you like, the big fact that has changed over a year that makes it an even worse decision is the fact that of course Megrahi is still free at liberty in Libya rather that serving the prison sentence in Scotland as he should be doing.”
President Obama appeared keen to talk up US-UK transatlantic relations, saying that the “special relationship” between Washington and London was very much alive.