White House says Cameron is 'partner, ally' amid diplomatic flap

AFP, Washington :The White House praised British Prime Minister David Cameron as a "partner and ally" on Friday, seeking to extinguish a diplomatic flap after comments by President Barack Obama on the 2011 Libya intervention were seen as a public rebuke.Obama was also critical of former French leader Nicolas Sarkozy when discussing the two European allies' roles in Libya during an interview with The Atlantic magazine.In the article published Thursday, Obama said Cameron became "distracted" and Sarkozy wanted to promote his country amid the fall of Moamer Kadhafi's regime.British daily The Independent on Friday slammed Obama's comments as "an unprecedented attack on a British leader by a serving US president," while The Times called the criticism "extraordinary."Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Obama "values deeply the special relationship between the United States and our allies in the UK."Earnest called Cameron "a particularly effective interlocutor" and a "partner and ally."He noted that the leaders have an "effective working relationship" allowing the two countries to collaborate on security issues including the fight against the Islamic State group.In the extensive interview with The Atlantic, Obama discussed the British and French-led bombing campaign that led to the fall of Kadhafi's regime.Obama said when he considered what went wrong in Libya, "there's room for criticism because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya's proximity, being invested in the follow-up."Cameron stopped paying attention soon after the military operation, he said, becoming "distracted by a range of other things."Since Kadhafi's downfall, Libya has descended into near-anarchy, ruled by rival militias vying for power while the Islamic State group grows in influence.Earnest said it was not the first time Obama mentioned shortcomings in the international community's response to Libya, with the US bearing responsibility as well.

source : the new nation

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