Diplomacy Takes Center Stage at Summit

"What I think each of us is committed to doing is to make sure that people are getting immediate help, even as we're solving these broader structural problems, because we don't want that kind of suffering, but it's also not good for the overall health of the economic system," Obama said.

President Gives Queen an iPod

Obama took time out from a hectic day of nuclear breakthroughs and arranging geopolitical summits with Russia and China to visit the queen in Buckingham Palace -- and to give her an iPod.

In a day laced with diplomatic minefields, Obama also had to confront this one: What do you get for a woman who has everything?

The presidential answer was an iPod.

Obama and first lady Michelle Obama visited the queen at the palace this evening and presented her with a gift of a video iPod with an inscription on it and songs pre-loaded. The Obamas also gave the queen a rare musical songbook signed by American composer Richard Rodgers.

In return, the queen gave the Obamas a signed portrait of herself and her husband inside a silver frame.

The Obamas were dressed in black and white-- the queen wore a pink dress.

Thousands of well-wishers, including a few holding Obama signs, congregated in front of Buckingham Palace to get a glimpse of the president's motorcade as it made its way to the palace's Garden Entrance, site of the two concerts for the queen's Golden Jubilee in 2002 and a location where the queen entertains guests in the summer months.

The president and first lady met privately with the Queen and Prince Philip inside the palace.

Obama is the 11th U.S. president that Queen Elizabeth II has met, going all the way back to President Harry Truman, whom she met when she was a princess. The queen did not meet Lyndon Johnson in person.

Obama Works on Diplomatic Front

The White House announced that Obama accepted an invitation from Chinese President Hu Jintao to visit China in the second half of this year. The two leaders agreed on a new strategic dialogue that will focus on Sudan, Iran, North Korea and human rights.

Obama said at the start of his meeting with Hu that he was looking forward to an open and productive conversation with China not only on the global economic crisis but also on how the two countries can work together to improve peace and security around the world.

Obama said that as strong as the U.S.-China relationship is, he is confident that it can be stronger for years to come.

"I continue to believe that the relationship between China and the United States is not only important for the citizens of both our countries but will help to set stage for how the world deals with a whole host of challenges in the years to come," Obama said.

The nuclear breakthrough with Russia came on the first day of the G-20 summit in London, which was intended to focus primarily on salvaging the world's economy.

Obama, however, concentrated today on his meeting with Russia. After his meeting with Medvedev, Obama said there are areas of "common interest" between the U.S. and Russia that "present great promise," but he acknowledged that relations between the two countries have been strained recently.

"There are very real differences between the United States and Russia and I have no interest in papering those over," Obama said during a morning news conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. "But there are also a set of common interests."

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...