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Remarks During a Meeting With Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and an Exchange With Reporters in New York City

September 21, 2011

President Obama. Let me welcome Prime Minister Cameron to the United States and New York. Obviously, there is an extraordinarily special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom, and I am very fortunate that over the last year or two, David and I have been able to, I think, establish an excellent friendship as well.

And that's part of what makes the alliance between the United States and the United Kingdom so important, is that it's grounded not only in shared values and broad-based agreement on policy, but it's also based on the individual relationships that we have and the friendships and joint traditions that we have.

We've got a lot to talk about. We have worked closely together to help bring about freedom and peace in Libya. We are coordinating closely in managing a very difficult time for the global economy. We are keenly interested in finding a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On all these issues, I've always found Prime Minister Cameron to be an outstanding partner.

And so I'm very grateful for his friendship, his hard work, and his dedication and his leadership on the global stage, and I look forward to a very productive discussion today.

David, welcome.

Prime Minister Cameron. Thank you. If I may say, thank you, Barack, for that warm welcome. It's great to be back in America, great to be back in New York, and particularly on this 10th anniversary of 9/11, a reminder of how our countries always work together in defeating terror and trying to make our world a safer place.

As you say, we worked very closely together on Libya, and I think we're getting to a good conclusion there, with a real chance of freedom and democracy for those people. We're working closely together on Afghanistan; also the Middle East peace process, where we're desperate to get that moving again. And I'm looking forward to discussions on the world economy, which we will follow up in Cannes at the G-20, where we've got to get the world economy moving.

So these are very important times. I think the relationship is as strong as it's ever been, and it's been a pleasure working with you these last 16 months.

President Obama. Excellent. Thank you very much, everybody.

Iranian Government's Release of Detained U.S. Citizens Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal

Q. Can you give us your reaction to the hikers being released?

President Obama. We are thrilled that the hikers were released, and we are thrilled for the families. It was the right thing to do. They shouldn't have been held in the first place, but we're glad they're now home.

Note: The President spoke at 3:55 p.m. at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. A portion of these remarks could not be verified because the audio was incomplete.

Barack Obama, Remarks During a Meeting With Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom and an Exchange With Reporters in New York City Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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