Reuters International

Vote Leave campaign leader, Boris Johnson, reacts as he delivers a speech in London, Britain June 30, 2016. REUTERS/Toby Melville

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LONDON (Reuters) - Boris Johnson said on Wednesday the United States would be "in the front of the queue" following his surprise appointment as Britain's new foreign minister.

The quip was a reference to a comment by U.S. President Barack Obama during Britain's EU referendum campaign that the country would be in the back of the queue if it voted to leave the bloc.

Asked by a Sky News reporter whether Johnson planned to apologise to Obama for controversially saying the "part-Kenyan" president was biased against Britain because of "an ancestral dislike of the British empire", Johnson said: "The United States of America will be in the front of the queue."

"We have a massive opportunity in this country to make a great success of our new relationship with Europe and with the world, and I'm very excited to be asked to play a part in that," he said.

(Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge and Michael Holden, writing by Estelle Shirbon)

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