The U.S. State Department hailed departing British Prime Minister Tony Blair as a good friend of the American people and "a terrific leader" for his country.
Spokesman Sean McCormack said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has had an excellent working relationship with Blair, who announced that he will step down from his post on June 27.
"He is a "staunch defender of freedom," McCormack said.
He said the United States will work closely with Blair during the six weeks left of his term in office and with his successor.
Rice knows Blair's apparent successor, Treasury chief Gordon Brown, McCormack said, noting that the two attended a dinner gathering recently when Brown was here for World Bank meetings.
When General Wesley Clark spoke about the famous list of seven Middle Eastern countries to be demolished in five consecutive years, he has done nothing but remark, for the last time, if there was any need, Washington's willingness to redesign the Middle East within a more general framework of global domination.