Scotland politics

Nicola Sturgeon: Scottish-US ties 'will endure'

Nicola Sturgeon and Hillary Clinton Image copyright Empics
Image caption Nicola Sturgeon backed Hillary Clinton to be the first female US president

Nicola Sturgeon has said the "deep and enduring" ties between Scotland and the US will continue regardless of who wins the presidential election.

The Scottish first minister has made her support for Hillary Clinton and disapproval of Donald Trump clear.

But as voting in the election continued, Ms Sturgeon said she would respect the outcome no matter who won.

And she said she would seek to ensure that relationships between Scotland and the US remained in good health.

Ms Sturgeon has previously stripped Mr Trump, the Republican candidate, of his status as a business ambassador for Scotland despite his investment in two Scottish golf courses.

Mr Trump has also been involved in a high-profile war of words with the Scottish government - and in particular former first minister Alex Salmond - over its backing for plans to build an offshore wind farm near his course at Menie in Aberdeenshire.

At a press briefing at Bute House in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon was asked how much of a problem it would be for US and Scottish relations if Mr Trump was elected, and whether he would be welcome as a business investor in Scotland regardless of the outcome.

'Enduring ties'

She said: "It's up to American voters who they want to choose as their president. I've made my views known, for what they are worth, in terms of the outcome.

"The ties between Scotland and America are long-standing, they are very deep and they are enduring.

"And whatever the outcome of the election I will respect that outcome and will continue to work to ensure that those relationships, which are not just relationships of family and culture but also very important business and economic relationships, continue to be in good health."

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Ms Sturgeon stripped Donald Trump of his role as a business ambassador for Scotland

She said the Scottish government was "in the business of trying to encourage investment in Scotland", which she said was a "separate matter to the issue of who is elected president of the United States."

Asked why she was supporting Mrs Clinton, she added: "I think her experience, her strength, her amazing resilience - which I think has been on show throughout this campaign - will make her a good president and somebody well able to face up to and address the challenges that America, in common with many other countries, faces.

"Above and beyond that though, I'm standing here as the first woman to hold the office of first minister and I think it would be great to see the world's biggest democracy elect the first woman leader.

"I think the message that would send to women and girls all across the world would be a very positive one.

"I think it would be good to see that perhaps biggest crack to date in the glass ceiling."

Voting in the election began early on Tuesday morning - although a record 46 million Americans had voted early by post or at polling stations.

Results are expected some time after 04:00 GMT on Wednesday once voting ends on the west coast.

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