U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday said the United States’ relationship with both the United Kingdom and the European Union would endure in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the Brexit referendum.
“The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision,” Obama said in a statement.
“The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship,” Obama added.
Britain’s decision to leave the EU has forced the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron and dealt the biggest blow to the European project of greater unity since World War Two.
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The decision was met with watchful acceptance by U.S. officials even as it rattled Wall Street and other markets around the world.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, traveling in Ireland, said the United States would have preferred that Britain had voted to remain in the European Union, but respected the result.
“I must say we had looked for a different outcome. We would have preferred a different outcome … but the United States has a long-standing friendship with the United Kingdom and that very special bond will endure,” he said in a speech in Dublin.