Barack Obama and David Cameron serve food from a barbecue as they entertain British and American service members and veterans at 10 Downing Street today
Taliban must make 'decisive split' with al Qaida, says Cameron in joint press conference with Obama after garden party
Forget table tennis - this is the ultimate photo opportunity for Barack Obama and David Cameron.
The UK and U.S. leaders forged a special culinary relationship today as they manned the grill at a barbecue in honour of servicemen in the garden at No. 10.
It was a moment of fun after this morning's in-depth talks on issues ranging from military campaigns in Libya and Afghanistan to global economic reform.
Obama and Cameron diligently serve a burger to a soldier wounded in service during the garden party
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Samantha Cameron, wife of the Prime Minister, serve food at the barbecue for British and American service members and veterans
The pair gamely served the cooked meat at the lunch party while their wives, Samantha and Michelle, spooned side dishes onto the plates of 150 American and British service members.
The Prime Minister and the President appeared at ease as they performed their catering duties in shirt sleeves, chatting and laughing while they worked.
Servicemen and their partners arrive at the Downing Street garden party, which was attended by 150 American and British military personnel
The Prime Minister, left, and the President appeared at ease as they entertained military personnel in shirt sleeves
Both leaders worked together to pile food on to one wounded soldier's plate, as other guests queued at the food-laden tables.
Following the barbecue, Obama and Cameron gave a joint press conference in which the Prime Minister said Taliban must make a 'decisive split' with al Qaida if a political settlement in Afghanistan is to be brokered.
Speaking outside Lancaster House in London, Mr Cameron said the U.S. operation against Osama bin Laden represented a 'strike right at the heart of international terrorism'.
Mr Cameron said the next 12 months represented a 'vital year' in Afghanistan, while British and American troops had 'broken the momentum of the insurgency' in the country.
Mr Obama speaks during a joint press conference with David Cameron at Lancaster House today. The Prime Minister said the next 12 months represented a 'vital year' in Afghanistan
In the Taliban heartland of Kandahar and central Helmand, the insurgents were 'on the back foot', the Prime Minister said.
Calling for a political settlement, he told the press conference: 'Now is the moment to step up our efforts to reach a political settlement.
Obama arrived at Downing Street before 10am this morning for discussions with Cameron as he got down to the real political business of his state visit.
Obama and Cameron, right, were joined by Nick Clegg, left, for today's talks at Downing Street. Mr Clegg, gesturing to the sunlit windows, said to the U.S. leader: 'You've brought the sun today'
Mr Obama shares a joke with Nick Clegg at 10 Downing Street. Shaking hands with the Deputy Prime Minister, the U.S. leader said: 'Wonderful to see you'
During the talks, the U.S. President insisted the alliance between America and the UK is key to providing global security after a 'difficult decade'.
Nick Clegg proved that three isn't always a crowd as he joined the leaders and was seen sharing a joke with the President.
Mr Obama was smiling broadly after making the short journey in Cadillac One - his bombproof limousine known as 'The Beast' - from Buckingham Palace.
The leaders greeted each other with a handshake before Mr Obama patted the Prime Minister on the shoulder.
They then shook hands again on the steps of No. 10 but they were no
Obama smiles before today's meeting with Cameron. The U.S. President and the Prime Minister are to spend the morning holding talks before a joint press conference in Downing Street
Commander-in-chief: Barack Mr Obama takes a seat across from David Cameron (second left) in the Cabinet Room for today's talks on security with other ministers, advisers and officials
Barack Obama is greeted by the Prime Minister outside 10 Downing Street this morning. The pair are discussing issues ranging from military campaigns in Libya and Afghanistan to global economic reform
He is expected to tell MPs and peers that even though the world has changed significantly since the Second World War, the UK-US relationship and the broader transatlantic alliance is still the 'cornerstone of global security'.
The 'Arab Spring' in the Middle East and North Africa reinforce that the allies' shared beliefs are 'not just relevant but essential', he is to say.
The president will also strike an optimistic note by claiming that the world is 'turning a corner' following a 'difficult decade'.
As well as operations winding down in Iraq, the shift to Afghanistan taking control of its own security has begun, and al Qaida has been 'weakened' by successes such as the recent killing of Osama bin Laden.
Yesterday, large parts of central London were brought to a standstill as crowds gathered to welcome the president for his first state visit.
Obama and Cameron wave to members of the media outside the Prime Minister's official residence, prior to their meeting
Mr Obama made the short journey in Cadillac One - his bombproof limousine known as 'The Beast' - from Buckingham Palace
Police marksmen take position on rooftops along Whitehall as the Presidential motorcade arrives at Downing Street this morning. Helicopters were seen whirring overhead, as part of the major security operation
After being greeted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh at Buckingham Palace, the president and first lady met newlyweds the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge before Mr Obama laid a wreath at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.
Mr Obama and Mr Cameron then dropped in on a south London school where they took off their jackets to play two schoolboys at table tennis.
But the Anglo-American team took a sound beating at the hands of 16-year-olds Jason Do and Jamiyu Mojaji at the Globe Academy in Southwark.
Mr and Mrs Obama then attended a star-studded state banquet in the president's honour at Buckingham Palace last night as the Queen hailed the US as Britain's 'most important ally'.
Cameron and Obama pose for the army of press photographers gathered outside 10 Downing Street
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton walks with British Foreign Secretary William Hague to join Obama at 10 Downing Street
The smartly dressed driver of the President's vehicle brushes down its shiny exterior as she waits for him outside the Prime Minister's residence
She insisted the relationship was 'tried, tested and, yes, special' and the two nations together contributed to security and prosperity of the world.
'I firmly believe that the strength of our links and many shared interests will continue to ensure that when the United States and the United Kingdom stand together, our people and other people of goodwill around the world will be more secure and more prosperous,' the Queen said.
Responding with his own toast, Mr Obama spoke of the 'rock-solid foundation' between the two countries.
Mr Obama's motorcade travels along the Mall as it leaves Buckingham Palace to go to Downing Street this morning
'From that day to this, you have been our closest partner in the struggle to protect our people from terrorism attacks and violent extremism from around the world despite very heavy sacrifices here,' the president said.
'As we confront the challenges of the 21st century together we have can confidence in the partnership our two countries share, based on a rock-solid foundation built during Queen Elizabeth's lifetime of extraordinary service to her nation and to the world.'
Mr Cameron and Mr Obama sat down for talks in the White Room of No 10 shortly before 10am this morning.
'Okay. Enough about Ryan Giggs. What's the latest on Arnold Schwarzenegger?'
As about a dozen photographers took pictures at the start of the meeting, the president joked: 'All right guys, one of those must have worked.'
Foreign Secretary William Hague and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton followed the two leaders into Number 10 half an hour later.
Mrs Clinton waved briefly and smiled as she entered.
Michelle Obama, the wife of the U.S. President, and Samantha Cameron, wife of the Prime Minister, pose with their husbands on the steps of 10 Downing Street yesterday
Earlier, the smartly dressed driver of the president's vehicle brushed down its shiny exterior as she waited for him outside the Prime Minister's residence.
Mr Obama and Mr Cameron were joined by Nick Clegg at about 10.15am.
Shaking hands with the Deputy Prime Minister, the US leader said: 'Wonderful to see you.'
Mr Clegg, gesturing to the sunlit windows, said: 'You've brought the sun today.'
At about 10.40am, the President, Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister moved to the Cabinet Room for talks on security with other ministers, advisers and officials.
Mr Cameron and Mr Obama sat opposite each other in the centre of the coffin-shaped Cabinet table, the Prime Minister flanked by Mr Clegg and Mr Hague, and the President by Mrs Clinton and the U.S. Ambassador to London, Louis Susman.
Other British ministers attending included Chancellor George Osborne and Home Secretary Theresa May.