Soaring oil prices prompt talk of turning on the taps

US visit ends with the two leaders trading political favours – and a visit to Ground Zero

New York

As the Prime Minster, David Cameron, wound up his three-day official visit to the United States in New York, details emerged of a possible plan to for the two nations to co-ordinate a release of strategic oil reserves to counter the current increases in prices which threaten the economic recovery – and Barack Obama's re-election hopes.

The discussions in the Oval Office on Wednesday were prompted by the rise in oil prices due in part to instability in three major producing nations – Iran, Syria and Sudan. Officials cautioned, however, that no strategy was settled upon and it could be months before final decisions were made. Some European countries have voiced reluctance to take such a step. The last time reserves were tapped was during the unrest in Libya.

Rising petrol pump prices have emerged as a dangerous problem for Mr Obama, whose hopes of a second term largely rest on the state of the US economy. And although no agreement was reached, Mr Cameron yesterday said: "We are all facing the problem of higher oil prices and that translates into the cost of filling up the family car, which is very high here in the US but frankly even higher in the UK."

It was another sign of the two men trading political favours. There was also word that during a discussion of the dispute between Argentina and Britain over the Falkland Islands, Mr Obama said his administration would desist from prodding the two to hold talks, as Buenos Aires has requested, and remain neutral on the issue as it has in the past. The State Department recently said it would like the two countries to accept UN mediation.

The Prime Minister's third and final day of his US tour began with a visit to Ground Zero, which took on a personal air when Mr Cameron's wife, Samantha, was overheard recalling 9/11 when she was in Manhattan opening a branch of the Smythson stationery chain.

"The memories of that day will stay with me forever," she said. "I just couldn't believe it had happened and to see the aftermath and the effect on the city was just so shocking. I often think about the people who died and their families – I am glad I have been able to come and pay my respects properly today."

In the past, Mr Cameron has spoken of his own anguish on 9/11, when he was unable for hours to reach his wife. "I'll never forget the hours of ringing her mobile over and over again and not being able to get through because the mobile phone system was down," he has said. "I remember exactly where I was when I finally did get through and how pleased I was to hear her voice."

In a whirl of stops in the New York area, Mr Cameron went first to Newark, a blighted city across the Hudson River that has seen some success in economic regeneration under its current mayor Cory Booker. Visiting a café which has benefited from regeneration funds, Mr Cameron paid tribute to the city's efforts. He said Newark was a lesson on how elected mayors can have an impact.

"This is an example of a city that has suffered great deprivation in the past," the Prime Minster commented. "It really shows what real city leadership can do and a strong city mayor can do to turn a city around. I want us in the UK to have many more mayors in our great cities. We need that sort of leadership in the UK."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
food + drink
Life and Style
Shoppers in Covent Garden, London, celebrate after they were the first to buy the iPhone 6, released yesterday
tech
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvSeries 5 opening episode attracts lowest ratings since drama began
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Affleck stars as prime suspect Nick Dunne in the film adaptation of Gone Girl
filmBen Affleck and Rosamund Pike excel in David Fincher's film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
fashion
News
news
News
people
Travel
Warner Bros released a mock-up of what the new Central Perk will look like
travel
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Year 2 Teacher - Maternity cover

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Year 2 maternity cover, startin...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

Upper KS2 Teacher

£120 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Upper Key Stage 2 teacher ...

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day + ?110 - 130: Randstad Education Reading: English Teacher ...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments