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'Obama One' touches down in London

Latest update : 2008-07-26

US Presidential candidate Barack Obama arrived in London on Friday ahead of a busy Saturday which will include breakfast with former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair followed by a visit to 10 Downing Street.

Watch our Top Story: 'Obama in Europe - a shared destiny?'


U.S. presidential candidate Barack Obama, on a tour abroad where he has got a rock star reception, will wrap up his trip on Saturday with talks in London on the Middle East conflict,Iran and Afghanistan.

On earlier legs of his trip, Obama drew a crowd of 200,000
people in Berlin and elicited effusive praise from French
President Nicolas Sarkozy at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

But the Democratic White House contender's visit to Britain
is likely to be more low-key.

Obama will have breakfast with former Prime Minister Tony
Blair, now a Middle East peace envoy. He then meets Blair's
successor, Prime Minister Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street and
holds a news conference.

His final meeting is with opposition Conservative Party
leader David Cameron, a possible future prime minister whose
party enjoys a strong lead over Brown's Labour Party in opinion

Obama, who faces Republican John McCain in the Nov. 4 U.S.
election, began his overseas trip in Afghanistan and Iraq. His
week-long tour aims to burnish his foreign policy credentials
and counter McCain's criticism that he lacks experience.

Obama's early opposition to the Iraq war accounts for part
of his appeal with the European public. He has called for a
refocusing of U.S. efforts on Afghanistan and an end to the Iraq
war. He also wants Europe to contribute more in Afghanistan.

In addition to talking about Afghanistan, Obama and Brown
will discuss Iraq, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and Iran,
according to a spokesman for Brown.

The two will be able to compare observations on the Middle
East since Brown also recently visited the region. Obama stopped
in Israel, the West Bank, Jordan and Kuwait -- as well as Iraq.

Sarkozy, at a joint news conference at the French
presidential palace, joked with Obama and lavished praise on

"Good luck to Barack Obama. If it's him, France will be
happy and if it's not him, France will be a friend of the United
States of America," he said.

Brown, by contrast, is following protocol to ensure that he
does not appear to be favouring a particular candidate in the
race between Obama and McCain.

There will be no handshake between Brown and Obama at the
front door of Downing St as would take place with a visiting
head of government. The two also will not hold a joint news
conference. Instead, Obama will be solo for question-and-answer
session with reporters on the street.

Date created : 2008-07-26