Smart diplomacy

The London Times reports:

Barack Obama has at last granted Gordon Brown a formal one-to-one meeting as the two men try to play down reports of a rift in their relations.

The Prime Minister will be given his meeting at 4pm today (9pm BST) following the G20 summit in Pittsburgh. . .

The two men put on a show of friendship for the cameras in New York yesterday as part of the damage limitation exercise after the White House described reports of a snub as “totally absurd”. . .

Neither side denied, however, that British officials made repeated efforts to secure a formal meeting before Mr Brown arrived in the United States this week, nor that Mr Obama and the Prime Minister had held a private conversation in a UN kitchen.

The British PM shouldn’t have to plead for a meeting with the president. Was the president “too tired” again?

POSTSCRIPT: More on the 15-minute kitchen meeting that wasn’t at all a snub here.

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