PM to visit White House next month

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David Cameron and Barack Obama will hold face-to-face talks on Afghanistan and the global economic crisis when the Prime Minister makes an official visit to the White House next month.

The President will host the Prime Minister and his wife Samantha to “highlight the fundamental importance of the US-UK special relationship”.

The two leaders will also debate the situation in the Middle East and Iran’s nuclear ambitions during the March 13-14 trip.

The Camerons will attend a state dinner hosted by Mr Obama and First Lady Michelle, with the White House stressing the “strong personal bond” between the leaders and their families.

The visit comes after Downing Street said British troops will step back from their lead combat role in Afghanistan by the end of 2013.

US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has confirmed that American troops will also shift to a support role, although they will remain “combat-ready”.

A White House spokesman said: “The President and the Prime Minister are expected to discuss the upcoming Nato and G8 summits, as well as the broad array of global issues on which the United States and the United Kingdom co-operate closely in order to advance our common values and shared interests.

“They will also review progress in the implementation of the various initiatives launched during the President’s state visit to the UK last year.”