Donald Trump has invited Theresa May to visit him as “as soon as possible” once he takes over as President of the United States, according to Downing Street.
The prime minister and president-elect spoke on the phone on Thursday afternoon. No.10 said Trump told May the UK was a`”very, very special place” for him and that the relationship was “very important and very special”.
Trump will meet President Obama today for talks on the transition of power as the world comes to terms with the election result.
Several leaders have expressed concern at Trump’s victory. German chancellor Angela Merkel said the German-US relationship depended on the president-election respecting “the dignity of man, independent of origin”. And French president Francois Hollande said “some positions taken by Donald Trump during the US campaign contradict values and interests we share with the United States”.
Russian president Vladimir Putin, by contrast, has sent Trump a telegram of congratulation and expressed “his hope to work together for removing Russian-American relations from their crisis state”.
In the wake of Brexit, Downing Street in the phone call with Trump, May “expressed her commitment to building and expanding the UK’s relationships around the world, particularly after the referendum vote, and the importance of our partnership with the US”.
May was at pains not to endorse either Trump or his defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton during the bitter campaign, although she has previously described the president-elect’s call to ban Muslims from entering the US “divisive, unhelpful and wrong”.
The Republican regularly evoked Britain’s shock vote to leave the European Union during his campaign for the presidency, insisting his victory would be like “Brexit plus plus plus”.
Full Downing Street Statement on May-Trump call
“The Prime Minister spoke to US President-elect Donald Trump earlier this afternoon to congratulate him on his hard-fought election campaign and victory. The President-elect said he very much looked forward to working with the Prime Minister and congratulated her on her recent appointment.
“The Prime Minister and President-elect Trump agreed that the US-UK relationship was very important and very special. and that building on this would be a priority for them both. President-elect Trump set out his close and personal connections with. and warmth for. the UK. He said he was confident that the special relationship would go from strength to strength.
“The Prime Minister expressed her commitment to building and expanding the UK’s relationships around the world, particularly after the referendum vote, and the importance of our partnership with the US. She noted President-elect Trump’s commitment in his acceptance speech to uniting people across America, which she said is a task we all need to focus on globally.
“The Prime Minister said that we have a long history of shared values and added that she looked forward to that continuing in the future.
“She highlighted her wish to strengthen bilateral trade and investment with the US as we leave the EU. But she said that our relationship is so much more than that and our two countries have always stood together as close allies when it counts the most. President-elect Trump strongly agreed and added that the UK is a `very, very special place for me and for our country.
“The call ended with President-elect Trump inviting the Prime Minister to visit him as soon as possible.”