In a joint press conference from the White House Rose Garden, President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron reaffirmed their shared desire to continue working together in Afghanistan.
Obama began by saying that during this time of so much change in the world, the leadership of the United States and the U.K. is “more important than ever.”
Jason Reed / Reuters
On Tuesday night, President Obama invited Prime Minister David Cameron to travel on Air Force One to watch an NCAA basketball game in Ohio.
The president quickly moved on to discuss Afghanistan and underlined the shared sacrifice of both nations, saying each country has lost a number of extraordinary young men and women in theater and stressing that it’s “undeniable that the forces have made progress.”
Obama said the pair reaffirmed the transition plan that will be made official at the May NATO summit in Chicago, which shifts coalition presence to a support role in 2013 with the Afghans taking full control in 2014.
Just before British Prime Minister David Cameron departed for his U.S. trip, Brian Williams sat down with the prime minister in his official residence.
He touched on Iran as well, saying he and Cameron share a belief that the country should not be allowed a nuclear weapon, but that both leaders think there is time and space to find a diplomatic solution.
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With a firm handshake, Cameron began speaking. He took the opportunity to reaffirm British support to the United States in Afghanistan, adding that it’s imperative that Afghanistan never again be allowed to harbor terrorism.
The prime minister said that unlike most countries, the United States and U.K. relationship is a “matter of conviction – united for freedom and enterprise.”
The two complimented each other on the handling of the Libya crisis, saying that success in the region depended upon each other’s commitment to mobilize national and international support for the mission.
The pair spoke following one-on-one talks in the Oval Office, which they both referenced, to have revolved around the problems with the economy and in Iran and Afghanistan.
While today’s talks have focused on serious issues, the purpose of Cameron’s visit has been to emphasize the partnership and friendship between the United States and the U.K. On Tuesday night, Obama invited Cameron to travel on Air Force One to watch an NCAA basketball game in Ohio.
During the press conference, Obama joked that the decision to watch a game was birthed from their dismal attempt at playing table tennis during the president’s last visit to England. Cameron retorted during his remarks that Obama’s table-tennis play was what guided his decision to gift a pingpong table to the first family.
Wednesday night Obama and Cameron, along with their wives, are scheduled to attend a state dinner.