US has no closer ally or partner than the UK – Secretary of State

Catherine Wylie
·3-min read

Watch: US has no closer ally or partner than the UK, says secretary of state

The United States has “no closer ally, no closer partner” than the UK, US secretary of state Antony Blinken said as he hailed the “special relationship”.

President Joe Biden’s victory marked the start of a new chapter in the “special relationship” following a turbulent and chaotic period under Donald Trump.

Both Theresa May and then Boris Johnson sought to keep close ties with the White House, but President Trump’s erratic behaviour made that difficult and occasionally embarrassing.

Mr Blinken has described the relationship as “enduring” and “effective”, while both he and Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab spoke of the two nations standing “shoulder to shoulder”.

In a joint UK-US press conference, Mr Blinken said President Biden is “very much looking forward” to being in the UK for G7.

Watch: Dominic Raab meets US secretary of state Antony Blinken

He said it is the 75th anniversary of Sir Winston Churchill describing the “special relationship” between the US and UK, adding: “Three quarters of a century later, that special relationship is enduring. It’s effective, it’s dynamic, and it is close to the hearts of the American people.

“The work we do together serves our people’s interests across a vast array of issues.”

Mr Blinken told the press conference: “I think our bilateral relationship is also vital to the world. The work that we do together advances progress on the most urgent global issues and global issues that are having a real impact on the lives of our citizens.”

Speaking about the US and UK, Mr Blinken said: “We’re connected. It’s often said but always important to reaffirm. We’re connected by ties of friendship, family, history, shared values, and shared sacrifice.

“We’ve been reminded of that again in recent weeks as we prepare to draw down our forces from Afghanistan.

“We’ve stood shoulder to shoulder for nearly 20 years, sharing a mission and having each others’ backs. We’ll never forget it.

“The United States has no closer ally, no closer partner, than the United Kingdom, and I’m very glad for the chance to say that again here today.”

G7 foreign ministers meeting
Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab meets US Secretary of State Antony Blinken for bilateral talks at Carlton Gardens in London (Jonathan Buckmaster/Daily Express/PA)

Mr Raab said he and Mr Blinken discussed a whole range of security issues.

“Iran, Afghanistan, continuing concerns about Russia, in particular, on the border with Ukraine.

“We stand shoulder to shoulder on these issues and I welcome the US’s firm re-commitment to the Nato alliance.”

Mr Blinken said: “I also want to thank the United Kingdom for joining us in holding Russia to account for its reckless and aggressive actions.

“We have reaffirmed our unwavering support for the independent sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, which I’ll be visiting later this week.”

Mr Blinken said the US and UK are “fully committed” to Nato, and to maintaining transatlantic unity “in defence to our common values and in response to direct threats”.

Watch: Raab speaks of ‘like-minded countries’ after G7 meeting with US counterpart