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Obama welcomes referendum result

American president Barack Obama has welcomed the result of the Scottish referendum and said he looks forward to a continued stro ng relationship with the UK.

In a statement released on the White House website, he said: "We welcome the result of yesterday's referendum on Scottish independence and congratulate the people of Scotland for their full and energetic exercise of democracy.

"Through debate, discussion, and passionate yet peaceful deliberations, they reminded the world of Scotland's enormous contributions to the UK and the world, and have spoken in favour of keeping Scotland within the United Kingdom.

"We have no closer ally than the United Kingdom, and we look forward to continuing our strong and special relationship with all the people of Great Britain and Northern Ireland as we address the challenges facing the world today."

On the eve of the vote he had made it clear on Twitter that he wanted the UK to remain "strong, robust and united".

In the tweet, he described the UK as "an extraordinary partner for America" and " a force for good in an unstable world". It was posted by the White House official Twitter account, but signed 'bo' - the president's initials - which means he worded the message.

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