Rishi Sunak pays tribute at war memorial before crunch US talks with Biden to forge ‘economic alliance’ | The Sun

RISHI Sunak laid a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, in recognition of the deep military ties between the UK and US.

On a clear and bright morning, the PM was accompanied by Major General Trevor J.Bredenkamp, commander of the Washington military district, UK defence attaché Rear Admiral Tim Woods and ambassador Dame Karen Pierce.

He's in the US today for crunch talks with counterpart Joe Biden at the Whitehouse.

The pair – who have already met three times since the PM got to No10 – are set to discuss a new economic alliance, global regulation of AI, and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

At the memorial a 19-gun salute started at 8.55am on the dot and echoed around the sprawling grounds, competing with the constant drone of jets taking off from the nearby Ronald Reagan Airport.

The national anthems of both the US and UK were played by a military band.

Dozens of  personnel from the US army, navy, marines, air force and coastguard, dressed in ceremonial uniforms formed a guard of honour.

A Union Flag  was carried by the party accompanying the Prime Minister as he made his way to the monument.Flags of the military service branches and the US states hung limply in the still air.


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After the wreath ceremony, Mr Sunak visited the memorial amphitheater at the cemetery.

Some 400,000 people are buried at the cemetery in Virginia.

It comes as Mr Sunak chickened out of throwing the honorary first pitch at a US baseball game – ahead of a crunch meeting with President Biden today.

The PM ducked the honour and will instead hand it over to a veteran to throw the first ball instead.

Last night Mr Sunak shrugged off the apparent snub and said he was "more of a cricketer" anyway.

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The honour will now be handed to Stuart Taylor, a former British Army warrant office and CEO of the Allied Forces Foundation which supports injured servicemen and women.

Mr Sunak will watch the Washington Nationals take on the Arizona Diamond backs on Thursday in a game which will celebrate US and UK ties.

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