Bush welcomes new British PM to Camp David

July 29, 2007 at 9:59 PM

CAMP DAVID, Md., July 29 (UPI) -- U.S. President George W. Bush Sunday welcomed British Prime Minister Gordon Brown to Camp David, the presidentisl retreat in Western Maryland.

The welcome was relatively casual, with Bush driving Brown away from the facility's helipad in a golf cart -- and doing what a reporter called "a 360" in front of the media before waving and speeding off.

"It's a great pleasure to be at Camp David," Brown told Bush at one point. "It has so much history associated with it. Do you come here quite a bit?"

Bush said, "I do -- a lot."

The president and the prime minister plan to speak with reporters Monday at Camp David.

As Brown prepared Saturday to leave for the visit, he said the United States remains the United Kingdom's "most important bilateral relationship."

Brown's comments were intended to put to rest speculation he might distance himself from Bush, the BBC reported, as the two leaders prepared to discuss international issues such as Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Sudan, Kosovo, world trade and climate change.

"The relationship with the United States is not only strong but can become stronger in the years ahead," said Brown.

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