White House says U.S. values deeply special relationship with UK

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron leaves Number 10 Downing Street to attend Prime Minister's Questions at parliament in London, March 9, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama did not mean to be critical of British Prime Minister David Cameron about Libya policy in an article published this week in The Atlantic magazine, a White House spokesman said on Friday.

Obama told The Atlantic in the piece that some European allies had become passive regarding chaos in Libya and Cameron had become “distracted by a range of other things.”

Josh Earnest, the White House spokesman, said the United States “values deeply the special relationship” with the United Kingdom and shares responsibility to deal with chaos in Libya. After Libya’s 2011 uprising, the country faces a power vacuum and is threatened by Islamic State militants.

Reporting by Jeff Mason