HMS Queen Elizabeth anchors in New York as Truss plans to strengthen UK-US ties

HMS Queen Elizabeth has arrived in New York for her deployment to the United States to host an Anglo-American military conference.

The Royal Navy flagship dropped anchor within sight of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor on Sunday.

The ship set sail for the United States from Portsmouth on September 7 in place of her sister ship, HMS Prince of Wales, which broke down off the Isle of Wight days before the voyage.

The 65,000 ton warship will be the floating venue for the Atlantic Future Forum (AFF) – a defense conference focusing on British-American military, political and strategic relations.

The arrival of HMS Queen Elizabeth in New York comes hours after Liz Truss announced her intentions to make the UK’s ‘special’ relationship with the US ‘even more special’ over the next few years.

In an interview on CNN’s State Of The Union program, the Prime Minister was asked about US President Joe Biden’s administration’s concerns that it does not share the same belief in the special relationship as some of its predecessors in number 10.

Ms Truss said: “I think our relationship is special and increasingly important at a time when we face threats from Russia, increased assertiveness from China.

“I am determined to make this special relationship even more special over the next few years.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth was welcomed to New York by the British Ambassador to the United States, Dame Karen Pierce.

The crew of HMS Queen Elizabeth lines the deck as it sails to New York (LPhot Belinda Alker/Ministry of Defence/PA)

Dame Karen said: “HMS Queen Elizabeth is not just the UK’s flagship, but is a fantastic demonstration of the soft power and close working relationship between the UK and the US, and of the transatlantic relationship.

“It’s a huge honor to sail to New York with her.

“We share an effort to remain America’s closest ally and I am very proud of what the ship accomplished for Britain during its deployment to the Indo-Pacific last year.”

Captain Ian Feasey, Commanding Officer of HMS Queen Elizabeth, said: “It is an incredible privilege to bring HMS Queen Elizabeth back to New York and to be officially welcomed to the United States by Her Majesty’s Ambassador.

“We very much look forward to hosting the fifth Atlantic Future Forum and welcoming on board senior leaders who embody our deep and special relationship with the United States.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth arrives in New York
HMS Queen Elizabeth sails past the Statue of Liberty (LPhot Kevin Walton/Ministry of Defence/PA)

Meanwhile, AFF director Stephen Watson said the fifth edition of the forum would see “political, military and business leaders tackle some of the tough issues of our time”.

“The welcome extended to the British flagship by our American hosts is testament to the strength and timeliness of the relationship between our two nations,” he said.

“I hope our Forum will continue to build on the understanding and the bonds between us.”

HMS Queen Elizabeth was joined in New York by her escort frigate, HMS Richmond, which sailed up the Hudson River for an anchorage on Manhattan Island.

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