A CONSERVATIVE AM has called for Barack Obama to receive the Freedom of Newport when he visits in September for the Nato summit.

South Wales East AM William Graham has written to both Newport’s mayor and its council leader, calling for the US President to receive the city’s highest honour.

Past recipients have included Lord Tredegar, Field-Marshal Sir Bernard Montgomery, the Corps of the South Wales Borderers, 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh, and - most recently – Newport County AFC and Newport Rugby AFC.

Barack Obama has previously been awarded the Freedom of the city of Cape Town and has links to Wales dating back to the 19th century.

Assembly Member for South Wales East and Shadow Minister for the Economy, William Graham AM, said: “Barack Obama would be a hugely deserving and extremely distinctive addition to a very significant list.

“As the first serving US President to set foot on Welsh soil, it is only fitting that Newport should award him its highest honour.

“The NATO Summit’s arrival in Wales will be an historic event and this would be a timeless and appropriate way to mark it.

“When Barack Obama arrives in Newport next month, I would like to see him setting foot in a city keen to acknowledge his landmark visit and eager to forge ties that will remain for many decades to come.

“This summit is a unique opportunity to showcase Newport to the world and I look forward to the huge benefits it will bring to our city – and the region.”

The event, at the city’s Celtic Manor, begins on September 4th.