Liz Truss: 'Failure of French intelligence' left Macron blindsided
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Amid tensions in the relationship between the UK and US, the new Foreign Secretary said the “special relationship” was not “exclusive” and Britain would build links around the globe. She made the comments while addressing a fringe event at the Conservative party conference in Manchester.
The UK was left frustrated at the US’s decision to pul out from Afghanistan in August, leading to the resurgence of the Taliban.
The have also been clash points between London and Washington over the implementation of the Northern Ireland Protocol, with President Biden warning he will not sign a treaty deal with the UK if Brexit undermines the Good Friday Agreement.
Asked specifically if she personally believes in the so-called “special relationship” between the UK and US, Ms Truss said: “I believe in us having a very close relationship with the United States.
“They are clearly a key ally that shares our values, our world view.
“What I would say though is there are other allies too.
“Australia for example are a country I think we’re becoming increasingly close to.
“Japan is an extremely important ally.”
She added: “When I talked about the network of liberty, what I meant was as well as working very closely with the United States we need to start reaching out to other allies and so should the United States.
“We are not going to challenge autocratic regimes simply with a few relationships.
“This is about working together with all of our friends and allies across the world.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson does not like using the term “special relationship” when describing ties with the US.
He is thought to see the phrase as “needy and weak”.
Sir Winston Churchill is credited with having invented the phase-in when he was Prime Minister.
Earlier this year, Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said: “The prime minister is on the record previously saying he prefers not to use the phrase, but that in no way detracts from the importance with which we regard our relationship with the US, our closest ally.”
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Speaking tonight, Ms Truss added: “It’s a special relationship but it’s not an exclusive relationship.
“The Aukus deal was a very good example of that.”
Last month the UK and US signed a new defence pact with Australia, aimed at boosting allegiances in the Indo-Pacific.
With China becoming increasingly menacing in the region, the UK is eager to build an alliance of democracies to combat the growing threat.
The Aukus deal will see the UK and US help Australia build its first nuclear-powered submarine fleet.
Ms Truss’s comments reflect similar remarks she made in her speech at the Tory conference yesterday.
She told party members: “My vision is to strengthen our economic and security ties in order to build a network of liberty around the world.
“We will have a positive, proactive and patriotic foreign policy that expands trade routes, strengthens security partnerships, and supports development around the world.
“We want to trade with and invest in more countries to our mutual benefit – which leads to freer and wealthier societies aligned to the cause of liberty, spreading the human rights and values we believe in.
“We must win this battle for economic influence and this starts with forging closer ties with our friends and allies.”
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