By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron reaffirmed the “rock-solid” alliance between their two countries at a White House welcome ceremony this morning.
The two men and their staffs will discuss a range of issues from Afghanistan and NATO to economic policy and trade.
The United States and Great Britain are the strongest of allies, Obama said in his welcome speech on the South Lawn of the White House. “Down the decades we’ve seen nations rise and fall; wars fought and peace defended; a city divided, a wall come down; countries imprisoned behind an Iron Curtain, then liberated,” the president said.
The Cold War ended and the information age began. The world transformed. “Yet, through the grand sweep of history, through all its twists and turns, there is one constant: the rock-solid alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom,” the president said.
The U.S.-U.K. alliance is essential to security and prosperity around the globe, Obama said.
Cameron noted he was standing in front of the Executive Mansion, which British troops burned during the War of 1812. “Since that unfortunate episode 200 years ago, generations of British and American servicemen and women have fought together,” the prime minister said.
From 1941 to the present, from Normandy to Helmand province, British and American forces have fought side-by-side. “There can be no more tangible illustration of our two nations defending our values and advancing our interests than the mutual sacrifice made by our servicemen and women,” Cameron said. “And let us once again pay tribute to their valor, their courage, their professionalism and their dedication here in Washington today.”
Cameron said British personnel are proud to serve with American service members. “When the chips are down, Britain and America know that we can always count on each other because we are allies not just prepared to say the right thing, but to do the right thing and to do it in the right way, promoting our values, standing up for our ideals,” he said. “The partnership between our countries, between our peoples is the most powerful partnership for progress that the world has ever seen.”