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Trump and May renew 'most special' US-Britain bond

The visit was the first time a world leader met Trump since his inauguration [Getty]

Date of publication: 27 January, 2017

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President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May met on Friday to renew what the new US leader described as the "most special relationship" between their nations.

President Donald Trump and Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May met on Friday to renew what the new US leader described as the "most special relationship" between their nations.

Trump reiterated his support for Britain's decision to leave the European Union, declaring: "A free and independent Britain is a blessing to the world."

And both leaders said they would work to strengthen US and British commercial ties, with May hoping that a swift trade deal with Washington will mitigate the effects of Brexit.

May added that Trump had accepted an invitation to make a state visit to Britain later this year.

Trump threw his weight behind Brexit, saying it would be a "wonderful thing" for the country.

"I think when it irons out, you're going to have your own identity, and you are going to have the people that you want in your country," Trump said.

"You're going to be able to make free trade deals without having somebody watching you and what you are doing."

Asked by reporters whether he was planning to release Russia from sanctions imposed over its intervention in Ukraine, Trump said: "It's very early to be talking about that."

May, at a joint White House news conference, said Britain believes sanctions should continue until Russia upholds its end of the international Minsk Agreement drawn up to end the conflict.

The visit - the first time a world leader has met Trump since his inauguration as 45th US President - comes amid controversial comments he has made about waterboarding.

Trump reiterated that he supports harsh interrogation techniques including waterboarding that are widely condemned as torture, but will defer to his Pentagon chief, who opposes their use.

Defence Secretary James Mattis "will override because I'm giving him that power," Trump said adding: "He is an expert. He is highly respected."

May said that Trump had vowed "100 percent" support for NATO.

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