First Minister Alex Salmond has praised American presidential hopeful Barack Obama after he spoke out about the cost of the war in Iraq.
The Illinois senator, who is the Democrat presidential candidate, said that money spent on the conflict was not available to tackle the impact of the downturn in the American economy.
Mr Obama, who was in Britain to meet Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative leader David Cameron, spoke on the issue during a press conference in London.
He said: "Unless we get a handle on Iraq and Afghanistan, not only are we going to be less safe but it's also going to be a huge drain on resources. If we are spending $10, $12, $15 billion a month between those two wars then that's $10, $12, $15 billion dollars that we can't spend at home to rebuild our economy."
He said he hoped his message would would indicate to Americans and world leaders where his administration might take foreign policy.
Mr Salmond welcomed his remarks and said: "One of the many attractive features of Senator Obama`s politics is his willingness to comment on political realities which have become almost taboo subjects from those who have led the western world into such political and economic disasters.
Obama treated like a president on his world tour:
LONDON (AP) — Maybe the foreign leaders Barack Obama met with on his mid-campaign overseas trip were merely hedging their bets and don't believe he will win the White House this fall.
But that's not how many of them acted.
Jordan's King Abdullah flew back early from Aspen, Colo., to host dinner at his palace, then personally took the wheel of the royal Mercedes to drive his guest to the airport.
"God bless you," Israeli President Shimon Peres greeted Obama the next morning in Jerusalem.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy virtually endorsed the man he called "my dear Barack Obama." He observed puckishly he wasn't meddling in the U.S. election when he suggested Obama follow his own lead by winning the top political office in the United States.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, himself an aspirant for higher office, rarely strayed from Obama's side during a photo opportunity-rich trip to the village of Sderot near the Gaza Strip targeted by Hamas rockets.
And Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki announced — twice — in the days surrounding Obama's visit to his country that he favors a timeline for the withdrawal of American combat troops that is remarkably similar to the one the Democratic presidential contender favors.
In London, David Cameron, head of the opposition Conservative Party, made sure British as well as American television cameras recorded him with his guest in three separate locations in less than an hour.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel was something of an exception. No welcoming remarks for the cameras, no photos of the two meeting in her office. She did issue a statement calling Obama's speech before 200,000 people citing a need for a renewed U.S.-European alliance "a positive signal." But that was after she had embarrassed the presidential hopeful by making it known she did not think the historic Brandenburg Gate was a suitable venue for a political event by a traveling American.