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article imageObama opens up Camp David for VIP sleepover

By Layne Weiss     May 19, 2012 in Politics
Reuters is reporting that eight of the most important people in the world had a rustic, VIP sleepover at Camp David Friday.
The guest list at the G8 Summit, which ends Saturday, includes Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and new French President Francois Hollande, USA Today reports. European Union President Jose Manuel Barrroso and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy were also there.
The EU leader was first to arrive, USA Today reports. Obama told him, "We have a lot to talk about."
This is Obama's first time hosting any foreign leader at Camp David, Reuters reports.
According to ABC News, this is the largest gathering of heads of state at the retreat in history.
Reuters notes that other international summits at Camp David have included US President Bill Clinton's peace talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barack and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 2000, and the 1978 negotiations between Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat, which were hosted by US President Jimmy Carter. The negotiations yielded the Camp David Peace Accords.
The G8 Summit was originally scheduled to take place in Chicago, but it was moved to Camp David, Reuters reports.
"The thinking was that people would enjoy being in a more casual backdrop," President Obama told reporters in March. Many saw the decision as a way to reduce potential protests in Chicago.
According to USA Today, French President Francois Hollande was the only member of the summit to wear a tie to the casual event, and was teased about it by Obama.
National Security Advisor Tom Donilon assured reporters that all arrangements for where the delegates would sleep were carefully planned, ABC News reports. White House deputy chief of staff Alyssa Mastromonaco and George Mulligan of the White House military were put in charge of figuring out the details, Donilon said.
ABC News reports that according to the White House, while the G8 leaders discuss global issues such as the European debt crisis, First Lady Michelle Obama is hosting their spouses for a tour and "intimate lunch" catered by celebrity chef Jose Andres.
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