News / USA

Obama Europe Trip to Focus on Economy, Security

US President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address, May 13, 2011
US President Barack Obama tapes the weekly address, May 13, 2011

Multimedia

Kent Klein

President Barack Obama is scheduled to leave early Monday for a six-day, four-nation tour of Europe.  The president will talk with European leaders about improving the global economy and regional security as well as bilateral and multilateral relations.  

After a week of concentrating on the upheavals in the Middle East, President Obama will turn his attention to Europe and its concerns, mainly the state of the global economy.

The president will start in Ireland, whose economy, once called Europe’s “tiger,” is now reeling from a debt crisis.  (An interactive map on the trip can be found here)

Obama will mix business with pleasure in Ireland, visiting a small village where some of his ancestors had lived. "I am expecting to go not only to all the famous sites, but also to go to Moneygall, where my great-great-great-great-great grandfather hails from," he said.

Almost 37 million Americans claim Irish heritage, and Mr. Obama says the two countries share a close kinship.

Next, the president will spend two days in London for a formal state visit.  

He and Mrs. Obama will stay at Buckingham Palace, where Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II will host a state dinner in their honor.

In London, Obama will speak to both houses of the British Parliament, and he will talk with Prime Minister David Cameron about the economy, security and other issues.

Steven Clemons, a senior fellow at Washington’s New America Foundation, says the United States and Britain have an enormous stake in the recent changes in the Middle East and North Africa. “The phenomenal changes underway and which will likely continue for years in the Middle East, the ongoing challenges of troop deployment in Afghanistan, the combined NATO and allied forces intervention in Libya," he said.

But analysts say the main purpose of the meetings in London might be to smooth over recent rough spots in the so-called “special relationship” between the United States and Britain.

After disagreements, including the Obama administration blaming Britain for last year’s BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Steven Clemons says the special relationship is not as special as it once was.  But he says that might not be cause for concern. “I do not look at the conflict as a problem as much as it is a sign of a natural and healthy move to a different kind of relationship in the future that may actually be more effective," he said.

The president moves on to Normandy, France, and the resort city of Deauville, where the Group of 8 industrial countries will hold its annual economic summit.

The leaders will cover numerous issues, including global health, food security and arms control.  But their primary focus will be on the state of the world’s economy.

Domenico Lombardi, a senior fellow at Washington’s Brookings Institution, says Mr. Obama knows the economic health of the other G-8 nations will affect the pace of America's economic recovery. “But, of course, it still contains some elements of fragility, and in that sense, it is very important for the U.S. economy that the other systemically important economies are doing well," he said.

Lombardi says he expects Mr. Obama to push America’s European partners for tougher fiscal policies, especially toward heavily indebted countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland. “If anything, President Obama will be asking his European counterparts to be more aggressive in devising a more appropriate response to the crisis in Europe," he said.

At the same time, the president hopes to reassure his counterparts on the strength and importance of their relationship.

Obama will conclude his trip with a long-delayed visit to Poland.  The president had planned to visit Poland last year, for the funeral of President Lech Kaczynski and other officials who were killed in a plane crash.  But the trip was canceled due to the huge cloud of ash from an erupting volcano in Iceland.

During this visit, Obama and President Bronislaw Komorowski are expected to sign an agreement to station U.S. F-16 fighter jets in Poland, a proposal that has angered Russia.

You May Like

China May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces Chaotic World, Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid