The Prime Minister held an hour long video conference this afternoon with President Obama.
The Prime Minister reiterated his shock and sadness about the killings in Newtown on Friday and said that the thoughts of people in Britain were with the families and friends of the victims. The President thanked the Prime Minister and said how much the American public had appreciated the support from around the world.
The President said that the news that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are expecting a baby was a great way to conclude a successful and happy year for the United Kingdom, after the Diamond Jubilee and the successful London Olympics.
On foreign affairs, the Prime Minister and the President discussed Afghanistan, Syria, Iran and the Middle East Peace Process.
On Afghanistan, they discussed progress on the plan to hand security responsibility from ISAF to the Afghan National Security Forces, and agreed that the NATO strategy to withdraw combat troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014 was on track. This would present further opportunities for ISAF countries to bring troops home next year and they agreed to stay in close touch as detailed plans develop.
They also agreed on joint work to strengthen the political process, particularly supporting Afghanistan and her neighbours to work together for stability, building on the trilateral discussions with Pakistan led by the United Kingdom.
On Syria, they agreed that the Assad regime was under increasing pressure, and that it was important that the international community continue efforts to force a political transition, to support the emergence of a more coherent and effective opposition, and to relieve the humanitarian suffering. They also discussed the importance of supporting the new Libyan government in its efforts to strengthen security as the basis for a stable and democratic state.
On the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Prime Minister raised concerns about threats to the possibility of a two state solution, including violence emanating from Gaza, and recent Israeli settlement announcements. The leaders agreed on the urgent importance of restarting a viable peace process.
Finally on Iran, they noted that sanctions were putting the Iranian regime under increasing pressure to address concerns about their nuclear programme. They agreed on the need to maintain this pressure, while continuing to pursue the diplomatic track as the best means of finding a peaceful solution to the issue.