Gates Meets With British Prime Minister
By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service
LONDON, June 7, 2010 Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had “an excellent first meeting” with British Prime Minister David Cameron at No. 10 Downing St. here today, Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said.
In a written statement, Morrell noted that Cameron is the sixth British prime minister with whom the secretary has met.
“They discussed a range of important security issues,” Morrell said, “including the war in Afghanistan, Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the fiscal pressures facing both our governments. They agreed to continue to work closely together to address each of these challenges.”
Cameron, 43, is the youngest British prime minister in almost 200 years. He replaced Gordon Brown after the Conservative Party gained a plurality in Parliament in a May 6 election. Brown resigned, and Cameron became prime minister in a new coalition government on May 11.
En route to London from Azerbaijan today, Gates told reporters that while he has been asking leaders of other nations to provide more trainers for Afghan police and soldiers, he had no plans to ask the United Kingdom to boost its participation in Afghanistan.
“I think with 9,500 soldiers in Afghanistan that the United Kingdom has done everything anybody could expect of it,” he said, “so I will not be making any further requests of the U.K. I think they’ve really stepped up and, as usual, have been an admirable partner.”
Tomorrow, Gates will have a working lunch with his British counterpart, Defense Secretary Liam Fox. Later that day, Gates will meet with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.