Britain’s New PM Committed to Helping U.S. in Afghanistan, Obama Says

By Fred Lucas | May 12, 2010 | 6:35 PM EDT

Britain's new Chancellor George Osborne leaves Downing Street, in London, Wednesday, May 12, 2010. A day after the Conservative party sealed a coalition with the Liberal Democrats. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)

Washington ( – New British Prime Minister David Cameron is committed to continuing Britain’s assistance to the United States in the battle against terrorism in Afghanistan for the long term, President Barack Obama said on Wednesday.

“I had a conversation with David Cameron yesterday,” said Obama at a White House press conference with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. “He’s somebody who I had the pleasure of meeting when I traveled to England previously.”

“I find him to be a smart, dedicated effective leader and somebody who we are going to be able to work with very effectively,” Obama said of Cameron.

“He reaffirmed – without me bringing it up – his commitment to staying in Afghanistan. I have confidence that the new government is going to recognize that it is in the interest of all to build a secure stable entity [there],” Obama added.

Tory party leader Cameron became Great Britain’s prime minister on Tuesday, after forming a coalition government with Liberal Democratic leader Nick Clegg to oust the Labor Party from control.

Former Labor Party Prime Minster Gordon Brown was slow to concede defeat, because Cameron’s party won most of the seats in parliament, but did not win a majority in a three-way race. The Tory conservatives’ coalition with the Liberal Democrats formed a majority.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, with Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 12, 2010. (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

Obama went on to say that Britain’s new prime minister recognizes the historic relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States.

“He also reaffirmed the extraordinary special relationship between the United States and Great Britain,” Obama said. “It was built up over centuries, and it’s not going to go away.”

In a written statement released on Tuesday, Obama expressed similar views after talking to Cameron.

“As I told the prime minister,” Obama’s statement read, “the United States has no closer friend and ally than the United Kingdom, and I reiterated my deep and personal commitment to the special relationship between our two countries – a bond that has endured for generations and across party lines, and that is essential to the security and prosperity of our two countries, and the world.”

On Wednesday, Obama added that he looked forward to meeting with Cameron at the G8 and G20 meetings in June.