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Pompeo meets with UK's PM Boris Johnson in Downing Street

London: British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said on Tuesday, July 21 the UK, the United States and other allies needed to stand up for their values on the international stage amid ratcheting tensions with both China and Russia.

Raab made the comments to reporters in London alongside his U.S. counterpart, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo took the opportunity to extend Washington's condolences for British deaths linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, which he pointedly highlighted as having originated in the Chinese city of Wuhan.
"The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) exploitation of this disaster to further its own interests has been disgraceful," Pompeo added. He encouraged other nations to push back against the CCP and described China's leadership as a threat. 

Meanwhile, Raab rejected criticism that the government had failed to look into potential Russian meddling in the 2016 referendum on membership of the European Union following the delayed release of a parliamentary report earlier on Tuesday. The report cast Russia as a hostile power which posed a significant threat to Britain and the West across a range of fronts, from espionage and cyber to election meddling and laundering dirty money.

Stewart Hosie, a Scottish National Party member of the Intelligence and Security Committee, which published the report, had earlier accused the government of not even looking into the possibility of Russian actors interfering in the 2016 vote. "We are not for a second complacent about the threat Russia poses when it comes to cyber," Raab said in response.

Pompeo also mentioned that the United States and Britain still have more work to do on a free trade deal, adding that he hoped a deal could be finalised before too long, with a third round of negotiations scheduled for late July.

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