Obama, Cameron to discuss Libya, Middle East issues

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U.S. President Barack Obama begins his visit to Britain where he and Prime Minister David Cameron will hold talks focusing on Libya and the Middle East.

To avoid any trouble due to volcanic ash cloud from Ireland, Obama flew to London a day ahead of schedule on Monday night.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, will spend two nights at Buckingham Palace. Obama on Tuesday will attend a formal arrival ceremony at Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth, before visiting Westminster Abbey and Downing Street.

“Obama and Cameron will announce a U.S.-British national security council to tackle international challenges and share intelligence,” an Obama administration official told Reuters.

In a joint article that appeared in The Times of London, Obama and Cameron reaffirmed their countries’ close ties saying, “Ours is not just a special relationship, it is an essential relationship - for us and for the world”.

They will review NATO operations which were launched in March to protect Libyan civilians from Muammar Gaddafi.

The fight against Islamist militants and relations with Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden will also be reviewed by Obama and Cameron.

Obama will be looking for British support for his effort to go forward for democratic change offered by the Arab Spring uprisings in the Middle East.

In addition, a joint U.S.-British group to undertake national security challenges will be launched.

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