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UK, US Have Opportunity to Lead Together Again: Theresa May

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has appealed that Britain and the US must "lead together" and play their role in global security even as she welcomed the rise of democratic allies like India.

Press Trust Of India

Updated:January 27, 2017, 7:43 AM IST
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UK, US Have Opportunity to Lead Together Again: Theresa May
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks during the 2017 "Congress of Tomorrow" Joint Republican Issues Conference in Philadelphia. (Image: Reuters)

Washington: UK Prime Minister Theresa May has appealed that Britain and the US must "lead together" and play their role in global security even as she welcomed the rise of democratic allies like India.

Further with the emergence of non-state actors, it is a time that the countries like the US and Britain assert their leadership role, May said in her remarks at Republican Retreat in Philadelphia.

"As we rediscover our confidence together, as you renew your nation just as we renew ours, we have the opportunity, indeed the responsibility, to renew the special relationship for this new age," May said.

"We have the opportunity to lead together again because the world is passing through a period of change. And in response to that change, we can either be passive bystanders or we can take the opportunity once more to lead and to lead together," she added.

"I believe it is in our national interest to do so.

Because the world is increasingly marked by instability and threats that risk undermining our way of life and the very things that we hold dear. The end of the cold war did not give rise to a new world order, she said.

"It did not herald the end of history. It did not lead to a new age of peace, prosperity and predictability in world affairs," she noted.

"For some, the citizens of central and eastern Europe in particular, it brought new freedom. But across the world, ancient ethnic, religious and national rivalries that had been frozen for the decades of the cold war, returned.

New enemies of the West and our values, in particular in the form of radical Islamists, have emerged, as countries with little tradition of democracy, liberty and human rights, notably China and Russia, have grown more assertive in world affairs," she said.

"The rise of the Asian economies -- China, yes, but democratic allies like India too -- is hugely welcomed.

Billions are being lifted out of poverty and new markets for our industries are opening up," May said.

"But these events, coming as they have at the same time as the financial crisis and its fallout, as well as a loss of confidence in the West following 9/11 and difficult military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, have led many to fear that in this century, we will experience the eclipse of the West," she said.

"But there is nothing inevitable about that. Other countries may grow stronger. Big, populous countries may grow richer. And as they do so, they may start to embrace more fully our values of democracy and liberty. But even if they do not, our interests will remain. Our values will endure as the need to defend them and project them will be as important as ever," May said.

So we, our two countries together, have a responsibility to lead. Because when others step up as we step back, it is bad for America, for Britain, and the world," May said.

"It is in our interests, those of Britain and America together, to stand strong together to defend our values, our interests, and the very ideas in which we believe. This cannot mean a return to the failed policies of the past," she said.

"The days of Britain and America intervening in sovereign countries in an attempt to remake the world in our own image are over. But nor can we afford to stand idly by when the threat is real and when it is in our own interests to intervene," the British Prime Minister said.

"We must be strong, smart, and hardheaded. We must demonstrate the resolve necessary to stand up for our interests. Whether it is the security of Israel in the Middle East, or the Baltic States in Eastern Europe, we must always stand up for our friends and allies in democratic countries that find themselves in tough neighbourhoods too," she said.

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