WASHINGTON: President Joe Biden offered congratulations on Tuesday (Sep 6) to Liz Truss, Britain's new prime minister, and vowed to work closely on global challenges and the US-UK "special relationship", despite differences over Northern Ireland.
"I look forward to deepening the special relationship between our countries and working in close cooperation on global challenges, including continued support for Ukraine as it defends itself against Russian aggression," Biden said in a tweet.
Biden told reporters he would speak to Truss later on Tuesday afternoon. Truss won a leadership race for the governing Conservative Party on Monday and took over as prime minister on Tuesday, as Britain faces its most daunting set of challenges in decades.
The so-called "special relationship" between the United States and Britain has maintained solid continuity in recent years, despite frictions between then-President Donald Trump and then-Prime Minister Theresa May.
Washington and London have been aligned on helping Ukraine in its war against Russia and in countering China's influence in the Pacific. But a bilateral trade deal that some British officials hoped could offset trade and economic upheaval after Brexit has yet to materialise under Biden.
Biden got on well with Truss' predecessor, Boris Johnson, but he could have tensions with Truss over Northern Ireland. As a member of parliament, she introduced legislation to undo the Northern Ireland Protocol, and Biden has been insistent that Britain do nothing that could endanger a quarter century of peace in Northern Ireland.
While meeting members of his Cabinet on Tuesday, Biden declined to answer a question about whether the two leaders would discuss negotiations with the European Union over Northern Ireland.
"We're going to be talking about a lot of things," he said.