Obama, Cameron toast ‘essential relationship’ at black-tie state dinner

President Obama hosted British Prime Minister David Cameron at a black-tie state dinner in Washington on Wednesday night.

In his toast, Obama praised Cameron as “the kind of partner that you want at your side,” according to pool reports.

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“I’ve seen his commitment to human dignity, during Libya. I’ve seen his resolve, his determination to get the job done, whether it’s righting our economies or succeeding in Afghanistan,” he added.

Earlier in the day, at an afternoon press conference, the leaders reaffirmed their commitment to the NATO mission in Afghanistan and denied reports they were considering a “sudden” accelerated withdrawal of forces from that country.

Obama praised the partnership between the United States and Great Britain. "In war and in peace, in times of plenty and times of hardship, we stand tall and proud and strong, together. And as free peoples committed to the dignity of all human beings, we will never apologize for our way of life, nor waver in its defense," he said. 


In his remarks at the dinner, Cameron paid tribute to “the importance of the relationship between our two countries and our peoples.”

“I'm proud of our essential relationship and of Britain's strong national bond with the United States of America. I feel it in my bones,” he said. 

Cameron said he had developed a “really good partnership” with the American president, praising him for his “strength, moral authority, and wisdom.” 

“It is frank and honest. We talk through issues very rationally. We don't need to remind each other of the basic threats that we face. We know them,” Cameron added.

The star-studded dinner was attended by 362 guests, including actors George Clooney and Damien Lewis, the star of one of Obama’s favorite television shows, “Homeland.” Also in attendance were billionaires Warren Buffett and Richard Branson.

Lawmakers included Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.).

The White House said the theme of the dinner was “America’s Backyard,” and guests dined under an air-conditioned tent on the South Lawn.

Following the dinner, attendees were entertained by Grammy Award winner John Legend and Mumford and Sons, a British folk band.

“We always wanted to play a hoedown at the White House,” a member of the band was overheard saying.