President Barack Obama discussed tragedy, responsibility and beer in a phone conversation today with recently-elected British Prime Minister David Cameron.
Mr. Obama and the conservative U.K. leader discussed the impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, reiterating that BP must do all it can to respond effectively to the situation.
President Obama said to the Prime Minister that his stated frustrations about the oil spill were not a reflection on Britain and, according to a statement released by 10 Downing Street, "the President made clear that he had no interest in undermining BP's value."
BP shares had dropped considerably since the April 20 explosion on the Deepwater Horizon offshore oil rig, precipitating the spill that is still leaking oil into the Gulf of Mexico at a rate of tens of thousands of barrels a day. Mr. Obama has also criticized BP's plans to issue dividends to shareholders while the Gulf region is still facing economic distress.
The Prime Minister expressed his sadness at the ongoing human and environmental catastrophe in Louisiana, and agreed with the president that "BP should continue as they have pledged to work intensively to ensure that all sensible and reasonable steps are taken as rapidly as practicable to deal with the consequences of this catastrophe."
The half-hour-long phone call was the president's first substantive conversation with Cameron since he made a congratulatory call on May 22, after resolution of the British elections.
The two leaders also discussed Afghanistan (with Cameron briefing Mr. Obama on his recent visit there), reaffirming their commitment to the NATO mission; the United Nations Security Council's decision to impose the strongest sanctions to date on Iran; and preparations for the G20 meeting.
The two leaders also "reaffirmed their confidence in the unique strength of the U.S.-U.K. relationship."
But there was one area of disagreement: The outcome of today's U.S.-England World Cup soccer match.
The U.K. is ranked higher than the American team, but Mr. Obama noted that the historical record of previous World Cup matches between the two countries favors the U.S. their last outing, in 1950, resulted in a 1-0 win for America.
The President wagered the best lager against the best beer in America on an American win today.