Newly-elected British Prime Minister David Cameron is making his first official visit to the United States. Today, he spoke with ABC's Diane Sawyer in an exclusive, wide-ranging interview on everything from the BP oil spill to the release of the Lockerbie bomber to the U.S.-U.K. coalition in Afghanistan.
Below, read the transcript of their conversation, conducted today at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.:
DIANE SAWYER: Tell me, your first official visit to the United States.
DAVID CAMERON: Yes.
DIANE SAWYER: What is it you most want to get done, most want to say?
DAVID CAMERON: What I most want to get done is to build a strong relationship with, you know, our oldest and best ally. It's a very important opportunity for -- for me and for Britain, to make sure that the oldest alliance we have, the most important one, the special relationship as we see it, the essential relationship, as I would call it, that it -- it works well. And you know, from the times I've met Barack Obama before, we do have very, very close -- allegiances and very close positions on all the key issues, whether that is Afghanistan or Middle East peace process or Iran. Our interests are aligned and we've got to make this partnership work.
DIANE SAWYER: You've defined it a little differently. You said, "We are the junior partner."
DAVID CAMERON: Well, we are. I mean, we were the junior partner in 1940, when we were fighting against Hitler. We're the junior partner now. I think it's -- I'm a realist about life. I mean, I think you shouldn't pretend to be something that you're not. Britain is a staunch ally of the US. We do many, many things together, but we are the junior partner. If you look at the size of our armed forces, if you look at our respective contributions in Afghanistan, we're the second largest troop contributor. But America is way the largest.
You've got 100,000 troops. We've got 10,000 troops. We're the second largest, but there's a big gap between the two. So we're the junior partner. But I think we bring a lot to the relationship. I think that we have allegiances around the world, knowledge of countries through the commonwealth, through our old relations with countries like India and Pakistan, relations in the gulf.
We've got a lot of things that we bring to the relationship. Intelligence services, the very good work of our armed forces. So I think there's quite a lot that we bring to this special relationship, but yes, we are the junior partner in it. And we shouldn't -- we shouldn't have ideas beyond, you know, the -- it's very important that you're realistic about what you are, who you are, what you can achieve.
DIANE SAWYER: I know you've met Barack Obama before, but I'm curious. When you first met him, what's the thing personally you most wanted to know about him? What intrigued you the most?
DAVID CAMERON: I was just intrigued. I mean, I met him during the sort of campaign period. He -- when he did his big speech in Berlin, he then came over to the U.K. And I met him. I think I was the last person to meet him before he got on the plane to come back here. And I was just intrigued to find out what -- what this guy was like. And he is, you know, he's one of the calmest, coolest people I've come across -- extremely friendly, very easy to get to know, very clear in his mind about what he believes and what he wants.
DIANE SAWYER: Anything about him surprise you?