By Jason Theodorou

US President Barack Obama has welcomed David Cameron to the White House for talks, with the BP oil leak and the global economy key issues for discussion. Mr. Cameron arrived at the White House pledging to be 'hard headed' about relations between the UK and US.

The trip represents the Prime Minister's first trip to the US since he entered Downing Street. The Prime Minister will also meet with US senators about the release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abelbaset Ali al-Meghrahi.

US senators from New York and New Jersey want to meet with Mr. Cameron over allegations that British firm BP lobbied for the bomber's release. Abdelbaset al-Megrahi was convicted for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am flight 103, which killed 270 people.

The Libyan was released by Scottish Justice Minister Kenny McAskill in August last year on compassionate grounds, as he has terminal prostrate cancer. He had as little as three months to live.

BP has admitted to pressing the British government to agree to a more generous prisoner transfer agreement with Libya, but deny that they had any part in the Scottish government's decision to free him from prison.

The Prime Minister has said that if the senators question him on the release of al-Megrahi, he will say that the decision to release him was taken with 'proper process' but it was 'profoundly misguided' on the part of the Scottish government.

The Prime Minister said: 'I will say to them that I agree that the decision to release al-Megrahi was wrong. I said it was wrong at the time. It was the Scottish government that took the decision'.

On the subect of the 'special relationship', Mr. Cameron said he was 'unapologetically pro-America' and that he felt that the UK had a responsibility to engage more widely with the international community, to ensure the country's continued influence in 'a changing world'.

He said that trade would be a priority for the government, and represented a stimulus to the global economy.

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