President Obama plans European trip for spring break
President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, will take a springtime working victory tour of Europe at the end of this month, which is likely to provide reinvigorating images back home of eager foreign throngs that adored him last summer and now get their first look at the new U.S. commander-in-chief.
The president has already visited such exotic spots as Ottawa, Ft. Myers, Denver, Phoenix, Camp Lejeune, Elkhart--and tomorrow he adds Columbus, Ohio, to the exciting list , where he will swear in some police officers.
The first couple will visit Britain, Germany, France and the Czech Republic between March 31 and April 5, meeting with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, NATO officials in Strasbourg, France, and Czech and European Union officials in Prague at trip's end.
We'll publish the complete White House statement on the jump below. As you read it, see if you too notice the striking absence of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's name from the detailed announcement of the national leaders that Obama will confer with. All it mentions is Obama's meetings with "British leaders."
As The Ticket reported here in detail Wednesday, some in Britain have seen a recent accumulation of minor slights by the new Democratic administration, so much so that the White House released an unusually detailed description of the president's initiative in telephoning Brown after his well-received speech to Congress and Britain's honorary knighting of Sen. Edward Kennedy.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Photo: Associated Press
The President's Trip to Europe, March 31-April 5
President and Mrs. Obama will visit the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and the Czech Republic March 31-April 5, 2009. In the United Kingdom, the President will continue discussions on important bilateral and global issues with British leaders and work with other G-20 leaders to address the global financial crisis at the London summit.
On April 3, the President will participate in bilateral programs with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
The President then looks forward to participating in NATO summit events in Strasbourg, France, and Kehl, Germany, April 3-4, where leaders will celebrate 60 years of providing peace and security culminating in a unified Europe, discuss challenges and strategies for success of NATO’s mission in Afghanistan and other issues, and commit to preparing NATO to combat the new threats of the 21st century.
The President will travel to Prague, Czech Republic, April 4-5 to meet with Czech officials and with leaders of European Union (EU) member states and the European Commission president to build a stronger partnership between the United States and the EU, one which will enable us to better confront our shared challenges together. ###