Obama upgrades ‘special relationship’ for White House welcome to David, Samantha Cameron

Washington, Mar 11(ANI): US President Barack Obama is set to warmly welcome UK Prime Minister David Cameron and his wife Samantha on an official visit with a state dinner” at the White House this week after describing the UK as “closest partner in the world.”

An Obama spokesman had earlier referred to the “special relationship” between UK and the UK, highlighted the “strong personal bond” between both leaders, besides describing Britain as “our closest partner in the world”, which can be regarded as the most enthusiastic assessment of US-UK ties since Obama took office.

The description makes an upgrade of ties over “no closer ally than Britain” formula used previously, which has delighted those involved in organizing the Cameron visit.

“We welcome such a clear affirmation of the importance that the US places on the relationship,” The Telegraph quoted a senior British official, as saying.

Obama will also take Cameron on Air Force One to watch a basketball game in the country’s avidly-followed college championships.

The meeting between Obama and Cameron is likely to discuss about new sanctions that they hope will head off the threat of Israeli air strikes on Tehran’s nuclear sites this year and the withdrawal plans for US and British forces from Afghanistan.

Cameron is also expected to explain the British position on the Falkland Islands.

US long-standing policy has been to refer to the Falklands as a “bilateral issue” for dialogue between Britain and Argentina, a position rejected by the UK and islanders themselves who have made clear their wish to remain British.

But sources claimed that Obama places a premium on personal relationships and added that he has found it much easier to strike an accord with Cameron, than with Brown.

US and British officials said that the Obama has established close personal ties with Cameron as well as appreciating Britain’s role as a political and military ally but critics are sceptical of the move in the election year. (ANI)