Obama suggests Scotland reject independence, stay with U.K.

A referendum on whether to separate from the United Kingdom is scheduled in Scotland for September.
By Ed Adamczyk  |  June 5, 2014 at 2:45 PM
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BRUSSELS, June 5 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama, in response to a question, suggested Scotland stay within the United Kingdom and not vote for independence.

The surprise question, on Scotland's September referendum on whether to leave the U.K., came late Wednesday at a Brussels press conference involving Obama and U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron.

Obama stressed the decision was up to Scottish voters, but said the United States has a deep interest in keeping the United Kingdom united.

"I would say that the United Kingdom has been an extraordinary partner to us. From the outside at least, it looks like things have worked pretty well. And we obviously have a deep interest in making sure that one of the closest allies that we will ever have remains a strong, robust, united and effective partner. But ultimately these are decisions that are to be made by the folks there," Obama said.

Obama's comments are the first indication of the United States' position on the referendum. Though privately, his administration has concerns about the impact on U.S. interests if the United Kingdom's influence in NATO, the European Union or the United Nations is weakened by Scotland's independence.

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