Obama in London: Ping-pong diplomacy and pomp bolster 'special relationship'
President Obama, on a three-day state visit to London, is stressing what he and Prime Minister Cameron call an 'essential relationship' between the UK and the US.
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But, suggests Ms. Crow, the world has moved on and the relationship between the two nations with it.Skip to next paragraph
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“It’s a much more complex picture today for Washington as is seeks to choose allies,” she says. “For the last 70 years, it’s automatically looked to its NATO allies as default allies, but now it’s going to have be more flexible as it looks to manage security risks collectively around the world.”
In the long run, she adds, the UK will not necessarily be the default ally of the US.
That said, Obama clearly has a great personal rapport with Cameron, with whom he teamed up to challenge students at London's Globe Academy to a ping-pong match. His relationship with the queen is equally comfortable. So for now, at least, it’s all sweetness and smiles, as the president and his wife, Michelle, enjoy all the pomp and pageantry a state visit to the UK entails.
That included a 41-gun salute this morning when the Obamas were welcomed by Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip at Buckingham Palace, where the Obamas will stay for the next two nights. Obama and former President Bush are the only two presidents to have been honored with a full state visit during her reign.
After meeting the recently married Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, the president and his wife visited Westminster Abbey. Tonight, the queen hosts a state banquet at the palace in their honor, before Obama addresses the houses of Parliament tomorrow.