We treasure this relationship, says US's Tillerson after talks with Johnson


US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has reaffirmed America's commitment to the "special relationship" with Britain amid reports of strains between London and Donald Trump's administration.

Following talks in London with Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, Mr Tillerson said the US continued to "treasure" its transatlantic ties with the UK.

"We also view this as the special relationship. It has been and will be," he said.

Rex Tillerson visit to London
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left) leaves 10 Downing Street after talks with Theresa May (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

"We spend a lot of time talking about the world's problems. Sometimes we forget about the importance of our own relationship.

"We treasure this relationship. I treasure Boris's relationship with me personally."

His comments came as Theresa May is expected to meet Mr Trump at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this week.

Their meeting takes place amid reports that the president is unhappy after the Prime Minister publicly criticised him last year for retweeting inflammatory videos posted by the far-right Britain First group.

Mr Trump unexpectedly announced that he would not be travelling to London for the opening of the new US Embassy building in February.

Reason I canceled my trip to London is that I am not a big fan of the Obama Administration having sold perhaps the best located and finest embassy in London for "peanuts," only to build a new one in an off location for 1.2 billion dollars. Bad deal. Wanted me to cut ribbon-NO!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 12, 2018

Mr Johnson echoed Mr Tillerson's support for the special relationship.

"It is always worth saying that the relationship between the US and the UK is absolutely fundamental to our diplomacy but also to our economy," he said.

Both men called for "restraint" on all sides following the incursion by Turkish forces into northern Syria, where they are attacking Kurdish fighters supported by Britain and the US.

Mr Tillerson said: "We are concerned about the Turkish incident in the north of Syria."