POLITICS

Obama Gives 'Bro' Cameron General Election Boost With Gushing Praise At White House

16/01/2015 18:08 GMT | Updated 16/01/2015 18:59 GMT

Barack Obama gave David Cameron’s team a pre-election boost with a high-profile endorsement at a joint press conference at the White House on Friday. Using words that will delight the PM's team, the president gave a glowing tribute to Cameron before the pair detailed issues of joint concern, from cybersecurity to the fight against the Islamic State.

Addressing a recent admission from Cameron that Obama occasionally calls him “bro”, the president joked that commentators had got into a "tizzy" about the term.

"Put simply, David is a great friend. He is one of my closest and most trusted partners in the world," the President said. "On many of the most pressing challenges that we face we see the world the same way. Great Britain is our indispensable partner, and David has been personally an outstanding partner - and I thank you for your friendship."

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US President Barack Obama and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron hold a press conference in the East Room of the White House on January 16, 2015, in Washington, DC

In a statement published before the press conference it was revealed that Britain and the United States are to establish a new joint group to counter the rise of violent extremism in the wake of the Paris terror attacks and they remained determined to confront the "poisonous and fanatical ideology" of the extremists wherever it occurred.

He said the new UK-US group would look at what more they could do to identify and counter the threat in their own countries while learning from each other's experience. At the same time, Britain is to step up its support to Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State terrorists with the deployment of additional intelligence and surveillance assets.

"Britain and America both face threats to our national security from people who hate what our countries stand for and are determined to do us harm," Cameron told the press conference. "In recent weeks, we have seen appalling attacks in Paris, in Peshawar, in Nigeria. The world is sickened by this terrorism.

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Cameron: 'Britain and America both face threats to our national security from people who hate what our countries stand for and are determined to do us harm'

"So we will not be standing alone in this fight. We know what we are up against. And we know how we will win. We face a poisonous and fanatical ideology that wants to pervert one of the world's major religions - Islam - and create conflict, terror and death. With our allies we will confront it wherever it appears. But, most important of all, we must also fight this poisonous ideology, starting at home."

Obama said that the Paris attacks, which left 17 people dead, underlined the continuing threat from terrorist groups. "We will continue to do everything in our power to help France to seek the justice that is needed. All our countries are working together seamlessly to prevent attacks and defeat these terrorist networks," he said.

"The Paris attacks underscored again how terrorist groups like al Qaida and Isil are actively trying to inspire and support people within our own countries to engage in terrorism. We both recognise that intelligence and military force alone is not going to solve this problem so we are also going to keep working together on strategies to counter violent extremism that radicalises, recruits and mobilises people, especially young people, to engage in terrorism. "