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At the invitation of Her Majesty The Queen, the President will travel to the United Kingdom to affirm the broad and historic alliance shared by the United States and Great Britain. The depth of the special relationship between our two countries cannot be overstated. The United States has no greater friend. We share common interests, a common history and common values. Primarily, the United Kingdom and the United States share the desire to support all of those who seek freedom, democracy and peace. It is that tie that binds us inextricably.
The President is looking forward to the opportunity to meet and talk with the British people. In particular, he will extend his appreciation and gratitude to British soldiers and their families for the sacrifice and commitment in the war on terror.
On Tuesday, November 18th, the President and the First Lady will depart Washington for the United Kingdom. Upon arrival that evening, they will participate in a private welcome at Buckingham Palace.
On Wednesday, the President and the First Lady will be formally welcomed to the United Kingdom by Her Majesty and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Following the ceremonial welcome, the President will meet briefly and separately with Conservative Party and Liberal Democrat leaders. That afternoon he will deliver a speech at the Banqueting House, Whitehall Palace, on the transatlantic alliance and his forward strategy. After the speech, he will meet with British families who lost loved ones on September 11th, 2001.
On Wednesday evening, the President and First Lady will attend the state banquet in their honor at Buckingham Palace.
On Thursday, November 20th, the President will visit the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior, tour Westminster Abbey, and meet with family members of British servicemembers who died in Iraq. The President will then meet with Prime Minister Blair at Number 10 Downing Street. The two leaders will hold a joint press availability, attend a working lunch, and host a roundtable on HIV/AIDS. That evening, the President and First Lady will host a reciprocal dinner for Her Majesty at the Ambassador's residence, Winfield House.
On Friday, the President and First Lady will attend the Queen's official farewell, and then depart London for Northern England, where they will join Prime Minister Blair and Mrs. Blair for a visit for Sedgefield in the Prime Minister's home district. There the President's schedule will include lunch with the Prime Minister and a group of his constituents. The President and First Lady will return to Washington on Friday evening.