London: Addressing a joint news conference in London, British PM David Cameron and US President Barack Obama, reiterated their commitment to fight terrorism and emphasised their joint values for global peace and democracy.
Speaking from Lancaster House,David Cameron said that the partnership between America and Britain was “a working partnership” and that it was “essential to our security and prosperity”. He said that getting their people jobs and keeping their people safe “are the two most important things for both our nations”.
Congratulating US President Barack Obama for the operation against Osama bin laden in Abbottabad, Prime Minister David Cameron said the strike was “at the heart of international terrorism”.
Cameron said both the United States and the United Kingdom had suffered due to terrorism, and people of both countries had died together.
Cameron, who famously said during his last year’s visit to India that Pakistan could not “look both ways” on the issue of terrorism, refuted claims that it was not possible to defeat al-Qaeda and international terrorism.
“We can defeat al-Qaeda….We need to destroy terror networks. I congratulate Barack for the operation against Osama bin Laden, which was a strike at the heart of international terrorism,” he said.
“But let me add that Pakistan has suffered more than any other country from terrorism. Their enemy is our enemy,” Cameron said.
Due to the challenges faced by Pakistan, he said it was necessary that Britain worked with the country “more closely”.
Barack Obama expressed similar emotions when thanking Britain for an extraordinary welcome, he said that the “relationship between US and Britain is about shared ideas and values”. He said that he supported people striving for democracy and vehemently opposed the use of violence against protesters.
Obama did not mention Pakistan during his opening statement and responses to questions, but dwelt at length on the challenges in Libya, the Middle East and the economy.
Both agreed to “turn up the heat” in Libya without sending in ground troops to challenge embattled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Bluntly stating that “Gaddafi has to go”, Cameron said here that there was no future for the country with Gaddafi in power and both the UK and US were looking at “all options” for “turning up the heat” on the regime.
Obama said he believed NATO forces were “turning the corner” in Afghanistan while Cameron urged the Taliban to make a “decisive split” with al-Qaeda if they wanted to participate in a political dialogue and bring about stability.
The two leaders affirmed their joint resolve on the actions taken in Libya. They voiced this stance despite complaints among some NATO countries about the reduced US role since NATO took the lead after the initial days of the campaign against Gaddafi.
“There will not be a let-up in the pressure we are applying” on Gaddafi, Obama said.
But the president also said, “David and I both agree that you can’t put boots on the ground in Libya.” He said the “enormous sacrifices” that are being born by the NATO allies have made “a huge difference,” but that ultimately this is going to be a “slow, steady process” that eventually will sap Gaddafi’s resolve.
“We’ve been extraordinarily successful in avoiding civilian casualties,” Obama added. “That means that sometimes we may have to be more patient than people would like.”
Said Cameron, “I would agree that the two key things here are patience and persistence.” He said, “we’re extremely strong together in wanting to see the same outcomes.”
Obama also said the US is increasing pressure on Syria’s President Bashar Assad and his regime, which has been attacking protesters.
Earlier, Obama and his wife Michelle got a regal welcome from the queen, who has met every US president but one since the 1950s, as a 41-gun salute boomed out over London and Buckingham Palace choreographed the splendour of a state dinner.
Obama’s visit, the second stop on a European tour, comes as Britain seeks to prove its staying power despite fading military might and Washington looks to retool its decades-old alliance with Europe as a catalyst for global action. Zee News