British Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama on Thursday said stronger economies were critical to maintaining free speech and defeating a “distorted ideology” manifest in Islamist gunmen killing 17 people in Paris last week.

David Cameron
David Cameron

Writing in a joint article in The Times ahead of their meeting in Washington, they vowed not to be “cowed by extremists” and promised not to allow anyone to “muzzle free speech.”

“Along with our French allies, we’ve made clear to those who think they can muzzle freedom of speech and expression with violence that our voices will only grow louder,” they said, vowing to “defeat these barbaric killers and their distorted ideology.”

Cameron’s two-day visit is likely to be his final Washington appearance before May’s general election.

The pair are likely to stress that fighting terrorism is easier when living standards are being raised by growing economies.

Cameron is also expected to bring up the case of Shaker Aamer, a Saudi national and British resident in Guantanamo Bay for the past 13 years.

Cameron and Obama are keen campaigners for the sealing of a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, a US-EU trade agreement they said would “support new opportunities for millions of workers.”

They are also expected to discuss Russian actions in Ukraine, which they said “destabilise” the country.

“If we allow such fundamental breaches of international law to go unchecked, we will all suffer from the instability that would follow,” they said.



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