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Ambassador: U.K.-U.S. relations unaffected by World Cup, Gulf spill

From Charley Keyes, CNN
  • 400 people gather at British embassy to watch World Cup match
  • Some British officials, media critical of Obama's comments on BP and oil spill
  • Obama tells British PM he recognizes importance of BP
  • U.K. and U.S. have unique relationship, ambassador says

Washington (CNN) -- British Ambassador to the United States Nigel Sheinwald said Saturday that nothing -- neither a World Cup tie nor criticism of BP -- will alter relations between Britain and the United States.

About 400 people gathered to watch the World Cup match between the United States and England at the British Embassy in Washington on Saturday afternoon, drinking Bass Ale and Scotch whiskey and feasting on "bangers and burgers."

The ambassador said he thought both teams should be confident after the match ended in a draw at 1-1.

"It was a diplomatic outcome," Sheinwald said, wearing a red cap and T-shirt emblazoned with "England." "I have to say it was not the one I was hoping for. But it allows both teams to go forward."

Some British politicians and newspapers have been critical recently of U.S. President Barack Obama, saying his comments about BP and the oil spill are damaging a major British company and a mainstay for British investors' pension funds.

"The (British) Prime Minister and (Obama) talked about that today and ... the president made clear that he recognized the importance of BP for everyone and that he had no wish to do anything that would make the company more difficult to manage," Sheinwald told CNN.

"So I'm sure we are all looking for constructive solutions to this, but we also of course want BP to do absolutely everything to clean up the Gulf and to meet their responsibilities," he said. "On that, the two sides agree. And they both know that however much one worries about the situation in the Gulf, the reality is the unique relationship between the U.K. and the U.S. is not going to be affected."