Saturday, January 20, 2018

Britain's Cameron seeks to cement ties in U.S. trip

LONDON — Prime Minister David Cameron touches down in Washington today for the start of a two-day diplomatic love fest meant to put to rest any suggestion that the relationship between Britain and the United States remains anything other than "special."

President Barack Obama, who is often portrayed in the British media as deeply uninterested in the U.S.-British "special relationship," will move to dispel that notion by granting Cameron the privilege of being the first foreign leader to travel with him aboard Air Force One. Obama will whisk the prime minister away to Dayton, Ohio — leaving wives Michelle and Samantha in Washington — for a boys night out for college basketball in a key election swing state.

Cameron is presenting Obama, a fan of the television show Homeland, with a golden opportunity: the chance to meet the show's British star, Damian Lewis, at a White House state banquet Wednesday.

Obama and Cameron also will hold talks on how — or whether — to take further steps in strife-torn Syria and on how to address fears of an Israeli airstrike on Iranian nuclear facilities.

Speaking about Obama over a beer with journalists at No. 10 Downing Street Monday, Cameron said: "I find him extremely good to deal with. Extremely straightforward, very thoughtful."

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