News / Europe

Obama Trip to Britain Highlights His European Popularity

U.S. President Barack Obama and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron walk in the gardens after holding a joint news conference at Lancaster House in London, May 25, 2011
U.S. President Barack Obama and Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron walk in the gardens after holding a joint news conference at Lancaster House in London, May 25, 2011

U.S. President Barack Obama is in Britain with his wife Michelle on a state visit aimed at strengthening the longtime "special relationship" between Britain and the United States. At a news conference in London, Obama and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron said the relationship is special and essential.

During a joint news conference, Obama described the relationship as “stronger than it has ever been” and Cameron said the two men see “eye to eye” on a range of issues.

Analyst Xenia Dormandy, of the London-based research group Chatham House, said during the course of the past 15 years, the United States and Britain have, to some extent, taken one another for granted. She said they have not thought deeply enough about how to make the most out of their relationship.

But, she said, Obama’s state visit has shown that both sides realize they need to be more strategic about how they think about that bond.

"I think what you are seeing today, yesterday, is a change," said Dormandy. "You are seeing both sides wake up to the fact that if they want to achieve any of the objectives that they mutually hold, they need to do it in close collaboration. They need to work effectively together and that means they need to think strategically about their problems together, rather than doing so independently."

She said the United States is an economic and military powerhouse in a way that Britain is not. On the other hand, she said, Britain has some strong historical relationships with a number of countries that the United States does not. And Britain, she said, has so-called “soft power” that the United States might have been lacking in recent years.

"So what they need to work out is, 'Where is it that the U.K. can bring some of the soft power, some of the legitimacy to the table and work in conjunction with maybe America's economic strength and in terms of the military?'"

That kind of collaboration is important, she said, when trying to address a range of issues, including the ongoing war in Afghanistan, political upheaval in Middle East and North Africa, and the global economy.

London School of Economics International Relations Professor Michael Cox said the United States is increasingly working to build ties with emerging economies, namely in Asia. But he said that does not change the strong U.S. affinity with European countries.

"It is not just a partner, it is also a long standing ally," he said. "We are members of NATO, in the majority. We are members of the European Union, with which the United States has very good relations. We are democracies. We actually look at the world, if not exactly in an identical manner to an American President, this one in particular, but we look at it in broadly similar terms."

Cox said the United States’ reputation in Europe was hit during the presidency of George Bush, and Obama’s election was received with a certain sense of euphoria on the continent.

He said some have been disappointed, hoping Obama would, for example, take stronger action on climate change and exercise more “soft power.” Cox said the continued existence of Guantanamo Bay and the recent killing of Osama Bin Laden also were met with disappointment from some corners.

"I still feel there is a good degree of popular support for Obama amongst European and British publics," he said. "He would get very great receptions here, as he did in Ireland, and no doubt would do in France. As I said to other people in the United States, he might be more popular here in Europe than he is back in the United States, at least for some people."

This is Obama’s eighth trip to Europe as president.

You May Like

Lion Cecil's Killing Sparks 'Canned Hunting' Debate in S. Africa

Conservationists believe incident, which triggered worldwide outrage, will reshape debate about practice in which hunters are allowed to target animals bred for hunting More

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Environmentalists Issue Warning on Mekong Biodiversity

Scientists say decades of economic development, hydropower-dam construction, lax law enforcement and trafficking have taken their toll 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.
Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missionsi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
July 30, 2015 8:59 PM
Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video 'Metal Muscles' Flex a New Bionic Hand

Artificial limbs, including the most complex of them – the human hand – are getting more life-like and useful due to constant advances in tiny hydraulic, pneumatic and electric motors called actuators. But now, as VOA’s George Putic reports, scientists in Germany say the future of the prosthetic hand may lie not in motors but in wires that can ‘remember’ their shape.
Video

Video Russia Accused of Abusing Interpol to Pursue Opponents

A British pro-democracy group has accused Russia of abusing the global law enforcement agency Interpol by requesting the arrest and extradition of political opponents. A new report by the group notes such requests can mean the accused are unable to travel and are often unable to open bank accounts. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video 'Positive Atmosphere' Points Toward TPP Trade Deal in Hawaii

Talks on a major new trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations are said to be nearing completion in Hawaii. Some trade experts say the "positive atmosphere" at the discussions could mean a deal is within reach, but there is still hard bargaining to be done over many issues and products, including U.S. drugs and Japanese rice. VOA's Jim Randle reports.
Video

Video Genome Initiative Urgently Moves to Freeze DNA Before Species Go Extinct

Earth is in the midst of its sixth mass extinction. The last such event was caused by an asteroid 66 million years ago. It killed off the dinosaurs and practically everything else. So scientists are in a race against time to classify the estimated 11 million species alive today. So far only 2 million are described by science, and researchers are worried many will disappear before they even have a name. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Scientists: One-Dose Malaria Cure is Possible

Scientists have long been trying to develop an effective protection and cure for malaria - one of the deadliest diseases that affects people in tropical areas, especially children. As the World Health Organization announces plans to begin clinical trials of a promising new vaccine, scientists in South Africa report that they too are at an important threshold. George Putic reports, they are testing a compound that could be a single-dose cure for malaria.
Video

Video 'New York' Magazine Features 35 Cosby Accusers

The latest issue of 'New York' magazine features 35 women who say they were drugged and raped by film and television celebrity Bill Cosby. The women are aged from 44 to 80 and come from different walks of life and races. The magazine interviewed each of them separately, but Zlatica Hoke reports their stories are similar.
Video

Video US Calls Fight Against Human Trafficking a Must Win

The United States is promising not to give up its fight against what Secretary of State John Kerry calls the “scourge” of modern slavery. Officials released the country’s annual human trafficking report Monday – a report that’s being met with some criticism. VOA’s National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more from the State Department.
Video

Video Washington DC Underground Streetcar Station to Become Arts Venue

Abandoned more than 50 years ago, the underground streetcar station in Washington D.C.’s historic DuPont Circle district is about to be reborn. The plan calls for turning the spacious underground platforms - once meant to be a transportation hub, - into a unique space for art exhibitions, presentations, concerts and even a film set. Roman Mamonov has more from beneath the streets of the U.S. capital. Joy Wagner narrates his report.
Video

Video Europe’s Twin Crises Collide in Greece as Migrant Numbers Soar

Greece has replaced Italy as the main gateway for migrants into Europe, with more than 100,000 arrivals in the first six months of 2015. Many want to move further into Europe and escape Greece’s economic crisis, but they face widespread dangers on the journey overland through the Balkans. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Stink Intensifies as Lebanon’s Trash Crisis Continues

After the closure of a major rubbish dump a week ago, the streets of Beirut are filling up with trash. Having failed to draw up a plan B, politicians are struggling to deal with the problem. John Owens has more for VOA from Beirut.
Video

Video Paris Rolls Out Blueprint to Fight Climate Change

A U.N. climate conference in December aims to produce an ambitious agreement to fight heat-trapping greenhouse gases. But many local governments are not waiting, and have drafted their own climate action plans. That’s the case with Paris — which is getting special attention, since it’s hosting the climate summit. Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at the transformation of the French capital into an eco-city.

VOA Blogs