July 20th, 2010
06:01 PM ET
4 years ago

The 'special relationship'

Washington (CNN) – Like a couple renewing their vows, President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron once again reaffirmed the "special relationship" between the US and UK during a joint press conference at the White House on Tuesday.

Calling it an "opportunity to renew the relationship with my partner, Prime Minister Cameron," President Obama also claimed the US has "no closer ally, no stronger partner."

But there has been a rough patch recently; while the US and UK relationship goes back to the founding of America, the tension between the two allies has been palpable.


The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have required sacrifice in blood and treasure well beyond initial expectations from both countries. The Gulf of Mexico oil spill has tested relations as well - BP, the oil giant responsible for the spill, is based in Britain. But it's been questions regarding the possibility that BP influenced the release of Lockerbie bomber Ali Mohamed Al Megrahi that have resulted in some difficult conversations between the countries. Like any good marriage though, communication and affirmation keep the ties strong.

"We can never say it enough, the United States and the United Kingdom enjoy a truly special relationship," Obama said at that the start of the press conference calling the meeting a "brilliant start as partners who see eye to eye on virtually every challenge before us."

Prime Minister Cameron, on his first visit to the White House, had similar sentiments saying the relationship between the US and UK is not just, "an extraordinary special relationship. To me, it is also an absolutely essential relationship if we are going to deliver the security and the prosperity that our people need."

President Obama has used the term "special relationship" with only one other country, Israel.

In addition to the formalities of the day, the President and First Lady presented gifts to Prime Minister Cameron and his family.

According to the White House, "President and Mrs. Obama gave the Prime Minister and Mrs. Cameron a framed and signed color lithograph by Edward Ruscha titled "Column with Speed Lines." The First Lady gave Mrs. Cameron a gift basket including a baby blanket. Gifts for the children are a silver charm necklace featuring eight White House charms for [Cameron's daughter] Nancy and a custom D.C. United soccer jersey for [Cameron's son] Elwen."

Last year, the Obamas were criticized for not giving appropriately when they gave an iPod to Queen Elizabeth during a visit to London.


Filed under: David Cameron • President Obama • United Kingdom
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Stop the spin, lies and games. Tell the American people the truth about Oil for Prisoner swap for $$$ greedy BP executives. Honestly it's time to confess.

    July 20, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  2. Naqib

    Well... at least he didn't bow this time to his "special partner"

    July 20, 2010 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  3. hypocricnnation

    What's The Relationship Here, Oil Among Friends! Countries In The Mirror! You Scratch My Back, And I'll Be Sure To Stab You In Yours.

    July 20, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  4. Save America, impeach the treasonous democrats

    Maybe Obama gave him an iPod with his neat speeches. Obama really loves those speeches.

    July 20, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  5. Larry

    Kissy, Kissy

    Huggy , Huggy ....

    Now I want to know how much OIL REALLY SPILLED into the Gulf

    Nerver mind all this Lovy Dovy stuff

    I'm hearing the real number is likely to be 300 million Gallons, or more

    BP knows, but they don't want us to know

    July 20, 2010 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  6. TOTUS FOR PRESIDENT

    What about Obama's "special relationships" with terrorist bomber Bill Ayers, racist Rev. Wright, whacked out loony lib professor Gates, avowed communist Van Jones, and of course the sexy and always lovely Vera Baker??

    July 20, 2010 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |