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UK Prime Minister David Cameron arrived in Washington on Tuesday 13 March for an official visit at the invitation of President Barack Obama.
The three-day visit underlines the closeness of the relationship between the UK and the United States and builds upon President Obama’s state visit to the UK in May 2011. For the first time since taking office, the Prime Minister is accompanied by his wife, Mrs Samantha Cameron, on an overseas trip.
The Prime Minister and President Obama travelled to Dayton, Ohio on Tuesday to take in a college basketball game during the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship First Four at the University of Dayton Arena. The game was a chance for the President and Prime Minister to spend time sharing their common interest in sports: they played a game of table tennis while President Obama was in London last year. Prime Minister Cameron is now the first foreign leader to travel with President Obama on Air Force One.
PM’s Visit to the United States
While the President and Prime Minister were in Ohio, First Lady Michelle Obama and Mrs Cameron hosted a mini-Olympics competition in Washington, DC. The event featured Washington-area children and highlighted both the upcoming 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games and Mrs Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative.
On Wednesday, the Prime Minister and President held a series of meetings focused on the US and UK’s shared challenges: from Afghanistan–where our troops are serving shoulder to shoulder–to the security issues posed by Iran and Syria, to supporting democratic movements in the Middle East and North Africa. They also discussed the upcoming G8 and NATO summits in the US in May and the global economy. UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne and Foreign Secretary William Hague joined the Prime Minister for some of these discussions.
The Prime Minister’s delegation then attended a lunch hosted by Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In the afternoon, the Prime Minister and Mrs Cameron made a personal visit to meet local children in Washington, DC before attending a State Dinner at the White House.
The Prime Minister and Mrs Cameron departed Washington, DC on Thursday morning for a series of visits in New Jersey and New York City aimed at further developing ties between the UK and the United States.
While in New York and New Jersey the Prime Minister met with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, where he toured local businesses. In the afternoon Prime Minister Cameron visited New York University for a live Q&A session with approximately 330 university students. The Prime Minister gave an overview of his priorities and answered a variety of questions from the audience . On UK domestic issues he spoke about his economic philosophy, Scottish devolution, the National Health Service, and completion and legacy of the London 2012 Olympic venues. International issues covered included Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia and the Falkland Islanders’ right to self-determination. The session was broadcast live on the NYU Leonard N. Stern School of Business website.
The Prime Minister also paid a visit to the World Trade Center plaza to tour the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and the in-construction 1 World Trade Center Building.