East Anglia: Barack Obama to touch down at Stansted

EAST ANGLIA: He is the political equivalent of a rock star and his every move makes waves across the world – and he is coming to East Anglia in May.

US President Barack Obama announced last night he is making a state visit to the UK after accepting an invitation from the Queen for himself and his wife Michelle.

The three-day trip, which comes ahead of the G8 summit of world leaders in France, is expected to kick off on May 24 when the American leader lands at Stansted Airport.

He will then travel to London to hold talks with Prime Minister David Cameron on a wide range of issues, and will stay at Buckingham Palace where he will receive a full ceremonial welcome and a banquet in his honour.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “We are very pleased that this visit is taking place. It is a sign of the strong and enduring relationship between our two countries.”

During the president’s visit to London in April 2009 – when he also touched down in the East Anglian airport – the Queen and the American First Lady were thought to have formed a strong friendship, after being pictured putting their arms around each other.

A White House spokesman said: “The White House is pleased to confirm that President and Mrs Obama have accepted the invitation of Her Majesty the Queen and will travel to the United Kingdom for a state visit on May 24 through to 26 of this year.

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“This trip will be President Obama’s first European state visit, a sign of the strength of the special relationship between our two countries and the United States’ enduring commitment to its European and Nato allies and partners.”

Mrs Obama has also visited Britain with her two daughters, Sasha and Malia, when the family were given a guided tour of Buckingham Palace and its gardens, as well as meeting the Queen again.

Further details of the trip are expected to emerge over the coming weeks.

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