Barrack Obama, CHINA G20 SUMMIT.jpg
Photograph: EPA/ROLEX DELA PENA

US President Barack Obama on Sunday offered assurances to British Prime Minister Theresa May of the enduring US-British alliance in the first meeting between the leaders since May took office in the wake of Britain's decision to leave the European Union.

"We're going to do everything we can to make sure that the consequences of the decision don't end up unraveling what is already a very strong and robust economic relationship that can become even stronger in the future," Obama said following a meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 (G20) summit.

Although Obama had spoken out in favour of Britain remaining in the EU, he said the US had no desire to punish Britain for its decision.

May will need to reassure members of the 20 leading and emerging economies in the wake of the Brexit vote, even as European leaders insisted Sunday that the matter was an issue between London and Brussels and not a matter for the full G20.

May said her nation would indeed follow through on the June referendum.

"Brexit does indeed mean Brexit," she said after the Obama meeting.

"We respect the wishes of the people, and we will put that into practice. There will be no second referendum, no attempt to turn the clock back, no attempt to try to get out of this."

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