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Gates, British PM Talk Afghanistan, Iraq, Economy

gatesDepartment of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates yesterday met with British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss a range of important issues, including the war in Afghanistan, Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the fiscal pressures facing both government, according to Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell.

At 43, Cameron is the youngest British prime minister in almost 200 years. He replaced Gordon Brown after the Conservative Party gained a plurality in Parliament in a May 6 election. After Brown resigned, Cameron became prime minister in a new coalition government less than a week later.

En route to London from Azerbaijan yesterday, Gates told reporters that while he has been asking leaders of other countries to provide more trainers for Afghan police and soldiers, he won’t ask the United Kingdom to boost its participation in Afghanistan.

“I think with 9,500 soldiers in Afghanistan that the United Kingdom has done everything anybody could expect of it,” he said, “so I will not be making any further requests of the U.K. I think they’ve really stepped up and, as usual, have been an admirable partner.”

Today, Gates will have a working lunch with British Defense Secretary Liam Fox, and later meet with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

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