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Watch President Barack Obama Meet President-Elect Donald Trump for the First Time

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Donald Trump joined President Barack Obama at the White House on Thursday for their first meeting ever.

The meeting signals the beginning of the transition period during which Obama will help Trump, now the president-elect, prepare to take control of the country next year. Despite years of tension between Obama and Trump, the president told reporters he was “encouraged” by the meeting and that the two had an “excellent conversation.”

“I believe that it’s important for all of us regardless of party and regardless of political preferences to now come together, work together and deal with the many challenges that we face,” he said.

Trump also spoke positively about the meeting and said he has “great respect” for Obama.

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Write to Abigail Abrams at abigail.abrams@time.com