Barack Obama meets Prince William, raises 'long and special relationship'

Washington, Dec 9:  US President Barack Obama met Britain's Prince William and discussed with him "the long and special relationship" between the two countries, the White House said.

The meeting took place at the White House on Monday and Prince William, known as the Duke of Cambridge, is on his first visit to Washington, Xinhua reported.

Barack Obama meets Prince William

The duke's visit was part of his efforts to raise awareness against wildlife trafficking.

Prince William briefed Obama on his initiative to combat illegal wildlife trade, "an issue to which the president and this administration are strongly committed," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a press briefing.

Earlier, US Vice President Joe Biden and his wife Jill Biden met Prince William and discussed with him the bilateral relationship between the two countries as well as global challenges, including efforts to degrade and ultimately destroy the Islamic State (IS), Earnest said.

Later in the day, Prince William delivered a speech at the World Bank on combating wildlife trafficking, calling the illegal trade "one of the most insidious forms of corruption and criminality in the world today."

"Within the last decade, illegal wildlife trade has mutated from low-level opportunistic crime to large-scale activity by international criminal networks," said Prince William.

He announced the formation of a task force to examine the role of the transport industry in illegal wildlife trade. The task force is also aimed at identifying the means by which the sector can break the chain between supplies and consumers.

"Cooperation is our greatest weapon against poachers and traffickers who rely on evading individual national initiatives," Prince William said.


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