News / Europe

    Obama In London For State Visit

    U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama step off Air Force One as they arrive at London's Stansted Airport, May 23, 2011
    U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama step off Air Force One as they arrive at London's Stansted Airport, May 23, 2011

    U.S. President Barack Obama is in London, where he will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron and be honored by Queen Elizabeth at a state dinner Tuesday.  The president left Dublin half a day early because of ash drifting from a volcano in Iceland.

    President Obama arrived in London late Monday night, instead of Tuesday morning as had been planned.  As a result, he and first lady Michelle Obama spent their first night in the British capital at the home of the U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom.  They will stay at Buckingham Palace Tuesday night, as scheduled.

    This is not President Obama's first visit to Britain, but it is his first formal state visit here.  Britain's Queen Elizabeth will hold a state dinner in the president's honor.

    Obama will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Tuesday.  They will certainly discuss economic issues as they both prepare for the Group of 8 economic summit, later in the week in France.

    Security issues will also be a major focus for the two leaders.  The British Charge d'Affaires in the United States, Philip Barton, recently told a forum at The Heritage Foundation, a Washington-based research group, Obama and Cameron will concentrate on the changes in the Middle East and North Africa.

    “They will be talking about the situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.  I am sure they will also discuss how best we can work together to respond to the Arab Spring and support countries like Egypt and Tunisia as they go through transition,” said Barton.  

    In addition to Mr. Cameron, President Obama will meet with Britain's opposition leader, Ed Miliband, and he will speak to both houses of Parliament.

    It is widely believed that another priority for Obama in this visit is to bolster the U.S.-British relationship, itself.  What the late British prime minister Winston Churchill dubbed the “special relationship” has shown some signs of neglect in recent years.

    Obama's first press secretary, Robert Gibbs, declined to describe  it as a “special relationship,” but rather as a “partnership.”  And, administration statements referring to the energy company BP by its former name, British Petroleum, during the Gulf of Mexico oil spill angered some people in Britain.

    However, the British Charge d'Affaires, Philip Barton, says the bond between Britain and America remains as strong as ever.

    “For the United Kingdom, the United States is our closest ally," said Barton. "So the state visit has both symbolic and substantive importance.”

    A column in Tuesday's Times of London, under Obama's and Cameron's bylines, proclaims that the relationship is not just special, but essential.

    The importance of that longtime alliance will be on very conspicuous display in the British capital this week.  

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora