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Brown Supports Bush in War on Terrorism

U.S. President George Bush (right)and Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown meet at Camp David, Md.
Saul Loeb
AFP/Getty Images
U.S. President George Bush (right)and Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown meet at Camp David, Md.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown reiterated on Monday his government's pledge of support for the U.S.-led war on terror, calling it a "generation-long battle."

Brown appeared with President Bush at a joint news conference at Camp David, Md., during the prime minister's first trip to the U.S. since suceeding Tony Blair on June 27.

Brown said both leaders agreed that terrorism was "not a cause, but a crime against humanity."

The special relationship between the two nations was "more than just about common interests and common history. It is driven by shared values," Brown said.

The prime minister said he and the president agree on the strategy of gradually turning over security to the Iraqi people.

"We have duties to discharge" in Iraq, he said.

For his part, Mr. Bush said Brown had proven his worthiness as a leader.

"I appreciated very much the British commitment" to the war on terror, the president said.

Brown was also scheduled to meet with lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Monday.

Britain's new leader will hold discussions with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell on Monday afternoon after wrapping up talks with the president.

Brown arrived at Camp David on Sunday. He downplayed Iraq as a focal point of the meeting, although he acknowledged that it would be discussed.

Britain has 5,500 troops in Iraq, with forces moving from a combat role to aiding local Iraqi forces. Beyond the specific numbers of British forces, the United Kingdom's commitment to the war is essential to the Bush administration.

Brown's spokesman Michael Ellam said there was no plan to withdraw British troops before the Iraqi army is deemed capable of maintaining security.

Some of Brown's advisers have caused a stir with comments about the Iraq war and Bush's famously close ties with Tony Blair, the former prime minister. Yet, just before he arrived in Washington, Brown was careful to praise the U.S.

"America has shown by the resilience and bravery of its people from Sept. 11 that while buildings can be destroyed, values are indestructible," Brown said. "And we should acknowledge the debt the world owes to the United States for its leadership in this fight against international terrorism."

Bush and Brown also talked about killings in Darfur, climate change and stalled global trade during talks on Sunday.

Brown is scheduled to leave Washington, D.C., for New York later in the day, where he will hold talks with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and deliver a speech to the United Nations.

From NPR and Associated Press reports

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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