Tongs at the ready: Barack Obama and David Cameron bond over the barbecue

It's an image that epitomises the strength of relations between the US and the UK.

Tongs in hand, Barack Obama and David Cameron manned a grill together at a barbecue held in honour of servicemen and women at Number 10 Downing Street.

The two world leaders were relaxed and at ease as they served up burgers and sausages to special invitees.

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With their sleeves rolled up, they laughed and joked together while greeting guests in the garden of Mr Cameron's residence.

It was a moment of light relief for the politicians, who had spent the morning holding in-depth talks on issues ranging from military campaigns in Libya and Afghanistan to global economic reform.

Moments later, they were whisked away from Downing Street for a joint press conference in central London.

The special barbecue was hosted by Samatha Cameron and Michelle Obama, who, like their husbands, got stuck in. After greeting visitors to the grounds, the two ladies helped serve up salad and other foods at the summer event.