Page last updated at 19:15 GMT, Thursday, 17 April 2008 20:15 UK

Brown: US link stronger than ever

Bush and Brown spoke of the special relationship between the US and the UK

UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown has said the bond with the United States is "stronger than ever".

Following a White House meeting with President Bush, he said the countries would enjoy "closer co-operation".

He added that they would work to boost trade and stand "shoulder-to-shoulder" in the fight against terrorism.

Earlier, Mr Brown met the three candidates to become the next president, and said he was "absolutely confident" of working with any of them.

'Debt of gratitude'

Mr Brown is on a three-day trip to the US, which has been overshadowed in the country's media by a visit from Pope Benedict XVI.

Speaking at a White House press conference, he said both leaders would "do everything in our power to ensure economic stability and growth".

We appreciate the special relationship with Britain
President Bush

He added: "We should be vigilant in maintaining the proactive approach to monetary and fiscal policy to enable our economies to resume their paths of upward growth.

"We want all our international partners to do the same, to ensure greater confidence in the financial system."

The two leaders also discussed Iraq, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Iran.

Mr Brown said the world owed Mr Bush a "huge debt of gratitude" for leading the fight against terror.

Mr Bush said: "We appreciate the special relationship with Britain."

'Great challenges'

Earlier, Mr Brown met Barack Obama - the Democrat front-runner in the race to become the party's presidential candidate - and his rival, Hillary Clinton.

He also held talks with Republican contender John McCain.

After the discussions, at the British embassy in Washington, the prime minister said: "I am absolutely confident that, having talked to the three candidates, that the special relationship between our two countries is strong and secure and valued by all of them.

"I am also absolutely confident that, through working with any of them, we could rise to the great challenges of the future."

During his visit to the US, Mr Brown has been pressing for international action to require banks to reveal how much money they have lost in the ongoing credit crisis.

He believes global economic confidence has a better chance of being restored if financial institutions own up to the full extent of their losses.

Shadow Foreign Secretary William Hague told the BBC that Mr Brown should adopt a "solid, not slavish" relationship with the US and the real test would be on "issues of substance - like how to deal with Iran's nuclear programme".

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