British Prime Minister says US leadership remains vital after "historic" poll

Other News Materials 4 November 2008 15:14 (UTC +04:00)

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown stressed the importance of "American leadership" in the current global economic crisis but warned against a retreat into isolation and protectionism, reported dpa.

Speaking during his current tour of Arab Gulf states, Brown carefully avoided taking sides in Tuesday's US poll, saying he was looking forward to working with the next president, "whoever he is."

"I think whatever the result of the American election ... history has been made in this campaign - the women coming to the fore, a black candidate coming to the fore. But it is for the American people to decide, it is their decision," Brown told the BBC.

"What I do know is that American leadership is going to be very important in the next critical time and I look forward to working with the next president, whoever he is," said Brown.

In a speech in Abu Dhabi earlier, Brown said the next stage of globalization would require even greater international cooperation, with American leadership "crucial to its success."

A retreat into isolation and protectionism could wreck the chances for a quick and sustainable recovery, said Brown.

Brown has met both Democrat contender Barack Obama and Republican Senator John McCain during recent visits to London and is likely to see the president-elect when world leaders gather to consider reform of the international financial system in Washington on November 15.

American leadership, said Brown, remained "vital" on economic issues, but also on long-running efforts to solve conflicts, most importantly the Middle East conflict, said Brown.