LONDON — The arrival of Barack Obama in the White House presents the world with “historic opportunities” on key issues including climate change and terrorism, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Tuesday.

Brown told The Sun newspaper that he and the US president-elect, who takes office next Tuesday, had a “historic chance to move the clock forward” on a series of “big challenges” for the world.

“There has never been a time that cooperation between the two countries and the rest of the world is more necessary. There has never been so many challenges that can only be met by two people working together.

“There are historic opportunities which exist over the next period of time to meet the big challenges — of climate change, the financial crisis, energy, security and terrorism.

“I look forward to meeting all those challenges with president Obama.”

He added: “President Obama shares the values of liberty, democracy and fairness. The special relationship will be one so strong, no power on Earth can ever drive us apart.”

The British premier’s relationship with President George W. Bush has been notably cooler than his predecessor Tony Blair, who controversially backed Bush in the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Brown, who succeeded Blair last year, said the former Illinois senator was “very deeply concerned about the changes we are talking about. He worries about the effects of the economy on people’s lives.

“He has a big vision of how America can contribute to the long-term prosperity of the world as well as peace,” said the Scot.

“He has a good command of practical detail.

“Whenever there is a new president and there is someone as big as this — who, 20 years ago, could never have been elected by the American people — there are huge opportunities.

“People will look at America and will say, ‘Let’s see what the changes are going to be’.”

He said their work together would start with “sorting out the financial turmoil.

“But it continues with climate change, Afghanistan, terrorism, how we can build a more successful world economy over the next few years.”

Brown also thanked outgoing President George W. Bush for leading the war on terror and thought he would be judged well in the future.