US president Barack Obama today reaffirmed his belief in the special relationship between Britain and America following talks with Prime Minister Gordon Brown at the White House.
Sitting alongside Mr Brown in the Oval Office, Mr Obama said Britain's friendship to the US in Iraq and Afghanistan would not be forgotten.
And he added: "Great Britain is one of our closest and strongest allies and there is a link and bond there that will not break."
The president was speaking after around an hour of talks which were dominated by the economy, with both men agreeing that improvements were needed to the regulation of the global banking system.
Mr Obama's Kenyan heritage - including a grandfather who was detained by the British during the Mau-Mau rebellion - has led some commentators to speculate that he will be less warm to the UK than some of his predecessors.
But the president pointed out that his mother's family originally come from Britain, adding: "This notion that somehow there is any lessening of that special relationship is misguided."
He added: "The relationship is not only special and strong but will only get stronger as time goes on."
Mr Brown became the first European leader to hold talks with Mr Obama since his inauguration in January.
The meeting, followed by a working lunch, comes ahead of the G20 summit of leading economies being hosted in London by Mr Brown on April 2, when he hopes to seal agreement on a common response to the global banking crisis.
During today's talks, Mr Brown called for a "global new deal" which would see the world's biggest economies agree on a new regulatory system for banks, fiscal stimulus packages to boost growth and action to deal with "shadow banks" and regulatory and tax havens.
Mr Obama said he wanted the April summit to look at how the G20 countries can "in a co-ordinated fashion, stimulate their economies" and ensure that there is a common front in making progress on banking.
The president cautioned that there would be no swift solution to the global economic crisis. But he held out the hope that co-ordinated action can get the world back on the path to prosperity.
"All of these steps, I think, are going to slowly build confidence but it is not going to happen yet," he said.
"We together have dug a very deep hole for ourselves. There were a lot of bad decisions that were made. We are cleaning up that mess.
"There are going to be fits and starts in getting the mess cleaned up but it is going to get cleaned up and we will emerge more prosperous, more unified and more protected from systemic risks."
Mr Obama also had warm words for Mr Brown, whom he was meeting for the third time, but the first time as president, saying the two of them had a "shared world view".
"I would like to think that our relationship is good and I am sure he won't dispute that," he said.
"I think that the Prime Minister has taken the helm of the British economy at a very difficult time... I think there are a set of shared values and shared assumptions between us."
Mr Obama and Mr Brown listened intently to one another as they sat in armchairs in the Oval Office before a painting of George Washington.
Behind Mr Obama's shoulder was the bust of his hero Abraham Lincoln which replace a bronze of Winston Churchill presented by Tony Blair to his predecessor George Bush and removed shortly after the new president took office.
Asked how they got on as individuals, Mr Obama said they both had young families and could talk to one another about "our spectacular wives and wonderful children".
Mr Brown joked that, while he would certainly lose to the president in a game of basketball, he could possibly still beat him at tennis.
The president said that their shared values included a belief in the free market and in "goverment that is not overbearing" but also a "common belief that there have to be sufficient regulatory structures in place so that the market doesn't spin out of control".
He added: "We have a shared world view that it is important for us to be true to our values and ideals of rule of law and the belief in human rights and belief in our democratic procedures, but that we also have to be respectful around the world and listen and not simply dictate - that in this new world we live in the way to get things done is to build partnerships and alliances, as opposed to acting unilaterally.
"I think, both on the economy and on world policy, we have a shared world vision that allows us to work together effectively."
Mr Obama indicated that he agreed with Mr Brown on the need to update the world's financial institutions and regulatory framework and to avoid protectionism.
"We have got to update our institutions, our regulatory framework so that the power of globalisation is channelled for the benefit of ordinary men and women so they have jobs and they can send their children to college and prosper and thrive, so the benefits of globalisation are not just for a small handful of people who are not accountable," he said.