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Obama meets UK prime minister Rishi Sunak in surprise visit

Former President Obama dropped by No. 10 Downing St. for an “informal” meeting with United Kingdom Prime Minster Rishi Sunak on Monday, Downing Street officials confirmed to The Hill.

Obama and Sunak met Monday afternoon at No. 10, where they discussed a variety of issues, including international affairs and artificial intelligence (AI), a Downing Street spokesperson told The Hill.

The spokesperson said the meeting was part of Obama’s visit to London with the Obama Foundation, the nonprofit founded in 2014 by the former president and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama.

The former president could be seen on video from BBC News on Monday afternoon, walking up to the prime minister’s Downing Street office and waving at reporters before stepping inside. Sky News reported Obama arrived around 3 p.m. local time Monday and left around an hour later.

The surprise visit comes after Obama spoke at a technology festival in Belgium over the weekend and stopped at the Laeken Castle to see Belgium’s King Philippe and Princess Elisabeth, Duchess of Brabant. Obama did not post about the visit, though the Belgium Royal Palace posted a photo of the former president with the princess and king.

Obama made the trip to Downing Street various times during his two-term presidency, as well as along the campaign trail in 2008, when he met with former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in the garden of No. 10 Downing St., per The Associated Press.

Obama’s last visit to Downing Street was in April 2016, before the Brexit referendum. During that visit, the former president said Britain would go to “the back of the queue” in negotiating a trade deal with the U.S. if it left the European Union, POLITICO EU reported.

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