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

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    How Diversity Has Changed America

    Over the past four decades, the level of diversity in the United States has increased most in these four states

    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.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.