Obama: Scotland Has A Lot To Offer

27 May 2017, 08:21 | Updated: 27 May 2017, 08:28

Barack Obama at St Andrews

Barack Obama believes Scotland has "a lot to offer the world'' and promised to return after his first visit to the country.

The former US president flew into Edinburgh Airport on Friday for a speech in front of politicians and business leaders at a charity dinner in the capital.

However, he made the most of his time by first going to the home of golf for a round at the Old Course in St Andrews.

Philanthropist Sir Tom Hunter invited Mr Obama to speak at a private charity event attended by around 1,200 people, including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, author JK Rowling and musician Annie Lennox.

Profits from the event, where tables of 10 started at £5,000, are to be split between children's charities in Scotland and the Obama Foundation, set up by the former president and his wife Michelle.

The Herald reported that when asked by Sir Tom what he thought about Scotland, Mr Obama said the country "had a lot to offer the world''.

He added: "It is just important we (you) know that and feel confident.''

The Democrat also vowed to return to experience "real'' Scottish weather after playing golf in 26C (78.8F) heat in St Andrews.

He said: "I promise you I will be back because, unless it is raining and blustery, I will not feel I have got the full Scottish experience.''

During a lengthy speech, Mr Obama also paid tribute to the victims of the Manchester bombing.

According to the Daily Record, he said: "I am convinced the perpetrators of this act will ultimately be brought to justice and the networks will be dismantled.

"And I know this not simply because of the valour of our military and law enforcement personnel, but because I know the character of our peoples.''

The former president told the audience he would not comment on the Brexit or independence referendum results but did say he believed a "strong, united Europe is a necessity for the world''.

Mr Obama was presented with a kilt to mark his visit but seems unlikely to wear it, according to The Herald.

He said: "Unfortunately, I have concluded my legs are too thin to pull it off, but those (tartan) trousers I have seen you wear. I think they look pretty good. So I might try some.''