Page last updated at 20:01 GMT, Saturday, 21 February 2009

Brown and Obama to meet in March

Gordon Brown and Barack Obama
The two leaders met in July, during the presidential election campaign

Downing Street has confirmed Prime Minister Gordon Brown will be visiting US president Barack Obama on 3 March.

It will be the first time the two have met face-to-face since Mr Obama was elected last year.

A White House statement said the US and UK had a "special partnership" and the president wanted to work closely with Mr Brown on "common global challenges".

The leaders are expected to discuss the global financial crisis and strategy in Afghanistan, among other issues.

These include an economic summit in London to be held in April and the upcoming 60th anniversary NATO summit in Strasbourg-Kehl.

Mr Brown will not be the first serving leader visit the new president in Washington.

Mr Obama is due to host Japanese prime minister Taro Aso on Tuesday.

'Deep affection'

BBC political correspondent Reeta Chakrabarti said Mr Brown's visit was important because many people would be monitoring the personal relationship that might develop between the two leaders.

She said that there had been no reaction from Downing Street earlier this year when former prime minister Tony Blair visited Mr Obama in Washington.

Mr Obama and Mr Brown last met in person when the then presidential candidate visited London last July.

Then, Mr Obama said he shared a desire with Mr Brown to strengthen the trans-Atlantic relationship to solve problems that could not be tackled by countries acting on their own.

He also spoke of a "deep and abiding affection for the British people in America and a fascination with all things British".

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