UK Prime Minister Starmer says special relationship with US is stronger than ever

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Britain’s new prime minister, Keir Starmer, on Wednesday hailed the special relationship between the UK and U.S. at his first one-on-one meeting with President Joe Biden, where the two also celebrated England’s soccer win in the semi-finals of Euro 2024.

Days after Starmer was elected in a landslide, he joined Biden in the White House’s Oval Office. The U.S. leader joked that England’s victory over the Netherlands on Wednesday, which put England in the final, was down to Britain’s new leader.

Starmer was in Washington for a meeting of NATO leaders, his first international summit. With Biden, he spoke of Britain’s historical and cultural ties with the United States, a connection that has been termed the “special relationship.”

But the conversation was dominated by the soccer match.

“The special relationship is so important. It was forged in difficult circumstances and endured for so long and is stronger now than ever,” Starmer said.

“I’m very pleased to be able to come so early in government to recommit to NATO, to recommit to the special relationship and to discuss these affairs with you.”

The two joked about England’s success in the soccer competition.

Starmer suggested England might win Euro 24, while Biden replied that the victory over the Netherlands was “good news indeed”. “It’s all because of the prime minister,” Biden joked.

Earlier, Starmer, who will attend the soccer final on Sunday, watched some of the game with Dutch Prime Minister Dick Schoof on the margins of the NATO summit.

“I began to watch the game with the Netherlands prime minister, but we left at 1-1,” Starmer said.

Biden laughed and said: “And you guys are still talking to one another?”

(Reporting by Elizabeth Piper and Costas Pitas; Editing by Leslie Adler and Cynthia Osterman)


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