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 Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
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.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid