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Republicans not on David Cameron’s US itinerary

Published: March 12, 2012 | 9:08 am
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David Cameron will not meet Mitt Romney or any of the other Republican Presidential candidates during an official visit to the United States this week.

The Prime Minister will join Barack Obama on a visit to a high-profile college basketball game in Dayton, Ohio – travelling with the President on-board Air Force One.
Ohio will be one of the key swing states in this November’s US Presidential election and it is unusual for a foreign leader to join an American leader on a visit which may be considered a campaign stop.
During an official visit to meet President George W Bush in April 2008, Gordon Brown met both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, the then democratic candidates. Mr Obama met David Cameron, the then head of the opposition, during a visit to London.
Mr Cameron is the first foreign leader to be invited to join Mr Obama on-board Air Force One, the presidential aeroplane.
The Daily Telegraph has learnt that the Prime Minister will also be formally welcomed to America on the White House lawn by Mr Obama in the presence of 6,000 specially-invited guests.

On Wednesday evening, the President will host a state dinner for Mr Cameron’s visit which is expected to be attended by 1,000 guests including high-profile Britons such as Rory McIlroy, the world’s current number one golfer, and Damian Lewis, the actor starring in the American television series Homeland.
It is understood that the Beckhams are not likely to attend the dinner but British business leaders will be present.
Mr Cameron is said to be personally surprised at the level of reception being planned across the Atlantic.
“He is well aware that this will be one of those weeks he will remember for the rest of his life, an historic moment for the Cameron premiership,” said one senior source.
Downing Street aides insist that there is no “snub” to the Republicans by not meeting the Presidential candidates. Senior sources say that the schedule was organised by the White House.
“It is important for Britain and the British Prime Minister to have a strong and close relationship with the US,” said one source. “Part of that relationship is getting to know Obama better and this trip offers an excellent opportunity for a deepening bond”.
The situations in Iran, Afghanistan and Syria are expected to dominate the official talks.


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