Well isn’t that special! Clinton reassures Britain on its U.S. relationship

October 12, 2009


It turns out the relationship between the United States and Britain is very special.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton went to great lengths on Sunday to reassure Britons and their political leaders that the “special relationship” between the two allies is strong and intact.

Exhibit A: at a news conference with Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Clinton opened her remarks by stressing their strong relations.

“First, let me just underscore how grateful I am for this opportunity to reaffirm the historic importance of the special relationship between our two countries,” she said.

Exhibit B: at a meeting later with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Clinton reiterated the message again. Note how many times the word “special” creeps into her sentence.

“It is a special relationship,” she said at the prime minister’s country estate. “I have a special personal relationship with the prime minister and of course I think it can’t be said often enough, we have a special relationship between our countries.”

Here’s the background: some Britons feel President Barack Obama has snubbed Brown by, for example, not holding a full press conference with him in Washington earlier this year (the two spoke to reporters in the Oval Office instead) and not scheduling one-on-one meetings at various international summits.

U.S. officials often appear mystified by the concerns. Clinton did her best, verbally anyway, to show they need not worry.

Later in the day she visited Dublin. The Irish, who are perhaps less concerned about semantics, welcomed her warmly as she made a visit to a coffee shop and a local pub, sipping coffee and swigging part of a beer.

Now that’s a special relationship.

Photo credit: REUTERS/Jeff Mason (U.S. Secretary of State and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, October 11, 2009)


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Dear Mr.Jeff Masson,
Well and wish to hear the same from you
Your coverage and related to this subject are clearly shows of your capacity to get maximum inputs on Mrs.Clinton!s visit to Britain.
On economic and foreign relations segments,the meeting between Mrs.Clinton,British foreign secretary and with Mr.Gordon Brown are really shows their maturity and for cordial friendship between the two super wealthy nations.
Mrs.Clinton had cleared some communication gap between Mr.Obama and Mr.Brown during Washington meetings.
History always showed that, these both countries were better co-ordination,co-operation on reduction Iran,Iraq and Afghanistan and other existing conflicts in Middle East Countries.
There may be hitches on approaches on Climate Changes, trade and commerce,war strategy of fighting against terror tactics,and on global economic changes.
Finally, we we said here for you and other media networks for full acceptance of words on these tpoics.
1.Both America and Britain are permanent friends from historical days.
2.All ex,present Prime Minister are in very good terms with America on British sides.
3.Entire world wants to these two countries co-ordinated efforts to reduce arms and ammunitions from middle east and African countries.
What else we want.
As per my understanding on foreign affairs, these above valid,solid,points are already agreed ,accepted and endorsed by world leaders, and from U.N.O.

Posted by krishnamurthi ramachandran | Report as abusive

Barry must want more troops for the ‘stan.

Posted by Greg | Report as abusive

All the video,s we see, project Obama trying to get away from the guy.Browns chances of getting elected in Britain are all most a impossibility.The pound is falling as fast as the dollar,against the euro,and to try and boost the failing economy Brown is suggesting to sell some of the governments assets such as famous land marks and government owned business.The nanny state policies are not working, health care spending and welfare is a tremendous burden around the necks of the over taxed work force.The garnishment that young people have taken out of their wages every week for health care is something that the will be unexpectedly forced on young Americans.The benefits to illegals is like California on a national level,and is causing a lot of unrest.Hopefully the next government which is expected to be business friendly will reverse the downward trend.I only hope that we can learn lessons from the borrowing and spending that has been the trade mark of Browns party in the passed.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Great column Jeff.

Posted by JackieB | Report as abusive

Britain relationship with the US is a first priority.

Posted by Britain | Report as abusive