US will keep ‘close’ ties to UK, Biden says as Johnson quits

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The United States will continue its “close cooperation” with Britain including their joint support for Ukraine against Russian aggression, US President Joe Biden said Thursday, hours after Boris Johnson announced his resignation as prime minister.

“The United Kingdom and the United States are the closest of friends and allies, and the special relationship between our people remains strong and enduring,” Biden said in a statement.

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“I look forward to continuing our close cooperation with the government of the United Kingdom,” he added, including “maintaining a strong and united approach to supporting the people of Ukraine as they defend themselves against Putin’s brutal war on their democracy, and holding Russia accountable for its actions.”

The initial Biden statement provided by the White House made no mention of Johnson by name.

When David Cameron quit as Britain’s prime minister in 2016 in the wake of the Brexit referendum, US then-president Barack Obama hailed him as “an outstanding friend and partner on the global stage.”

Johnson resigned earlier Thursday as leader of Britain’s Conservative party after dozens of officials including key ministers deserted his scandal-hit government.

Read more: New UK cabinet has been appointed ahead of Johnson’s expected resignation: Report

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