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Obama: Brexit Won’t Affect ‘Special Relationship’ Between U.K. and U.S.

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both made comments Friday about the United Kingdom’s shocking decision to leave the European Union.

Obama, who pushed hard against Brexit during his U.K. visit in April, said in a statement Friday, “The people of the United Kingdom have spoken, and we respect their decision. The special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom is enduring, and the United Kingdom’s membership in NATO remains a vital cornerstone of U.S. foreign, security, and economic policy.”

“The United Kingdom and the European Union will remain indispensable partners of the United States even as they begin negotiating their ongoing relationship to ensure continued stability, security, and prosperity for Europe, Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the world,” the statement continued.

Biden spoke more openly against the decision, while also saying the move won’t affect the relationship between the nations. “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, Reuters reports.

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Write to Tessa Berenson at tessa.Rogers@time.com