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Last Updated: Monday, 30 July 2007, 18:04 GMT 19:04 UK
Bush and Brown vow co-operation
UK PM Gordon Brown (left) and US President George W Bush
Mr Bush praised Mr Brown for the UK's battle against terrorism
US President George W Bush and UK PM Gordon Brown have held their first formal talks, renewing pledges to fight terrorism and seek progress in Iraq.

Mr Brown said both nations had duties and responsibilities in Iraq, and that he would seek military advice before announcing any changes in policy.

The pair met at Camp David, near Washington, amid widespread interest about whether they could work together.

The talks also focused on Afghanistan, Darfur, world trade and climate change.

Ahead of the summit there was speculation about whether the Texan president and the Scottish prime minister would find some common ground.

In the event, Mr Bush spoke warmly of the "special relationship" with the UK, describing it as "our most important bilateral relationship" - the same term used by Mr Brown ahead of his trip to the US.

BBC political editor Nick Robinson
Britain and America's policies on Iraq are in step - for now, at least
BBC political editor Nick Robinson

The president said he found Mr Brown a warm, humorous man, far removed from the "dour Scotsman" image sometimes portrayed by the media.

He also paid tribute to Mr Brown's personal strength in overcoming the death of his first child in 2002.

And he joked when he learned that six of Mr Brown's newly-appointed cabinet were under 40 years old, telling the prime minister: "You must be feeling old."

But the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson, at Camp David, says Mr Brown did nothing to return those personal compliments - even referring to their meetings as full and frank, which is normal diplomatic code for an argument.

Iraq debate

On Iraq, Mr Brown said any recommendation on the future role of the UK's 5,500 troops in Iraq could be put to parliament after British MPs return to work in October after a summer break.

That would leave any decision on UK troop levels until after a final report on the US "surge" in Iraq by Mr Bush's commander in Iraq, General David Petraeus.

The consequences of failure would be disaster for Great Britain and the US, something this Prime Minister understands
George W Bush
US President
Current UK policy in Iraq is to hand over power in Basra province to local Iraqi authorities, following successful handovers in three other southern provinces.

"Our aim, like the United States is, step-by-step, to move control to the Iraqi authorities," Mr Brown said.

Mr Bush then linked the fortunes of both nations to the outcome of events in Iraq.

"The consequences of failure would be disaster for Great Britain and the US, something this prime minister understands," the president said.

'Common struggle'

Mr Brown, who faced a series of attempted bombings in the UK in the days after he assumed office in June, denounced terrorism as a crime, not a cause.

Correspondents say Mr Bush used familiar language, including soaring rhetoric on the subject of good and evil, while Gordon Brown was much more specific, detailing a long list of what the two men had talked about.

However, Mr Brown denied suggestions that his view of terrorism differed greatly from that of Mr Bush.

"We know we are in a common struggle, we know we have to work together, and we know we have to deal with it," he said.

"Today in 2007 we see the challenges are radically different to 10 years ago," Mr Brown added, citing climate change, Africa, and the search for a Middle East peace process as key issues.

He said both men had agreed on the need for tougher sanctions against Iran, and the importance of restarting the Doha round of world trade talks.

George Bush and Gordon Brown meet for the talks

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