LONDON, July 14 (UPI) -- Britain's prime minister is reaching out to Washington to assure the Bush administration the longtime ally isn't backing away from the United States.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown sent members of his Cabinet a letter reminding them his 2-week-old government was not going to allow any distancing from the United States when it comes to "dealing with the common challenges we face around the world."
Britain is the only other nation with a sizable troop contingent in Iraq, a fact that drew political criticism against Brown's predecessor, Tony Blair. At the same time, Britain has been the target of multiple suspected al-Qaida terrorist plots.
The Times of London said Saturday Brown was reaching out to U.S. President George Bush after one of Brown's close political allies, Douglas Alexander, delivered a speech urging a greater degree of multilateralism in British foreign policy. Some observers interpreted Alexander's comments as a swipe at U.S. actions.
The newspaper also said it had learned an advance copy of Alexander's speech had been sent to No. 10 Downing Street; however, it apparently never made it to Brown's desk.