WASHINGTON--Presumptive presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) will meet with British, French and German leaders as part of overseas travel this summer to also include stops in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned. On Saturday morning, the Obama campaign,confirming the visits to Europe, said Israel and Jordan will also be part of the swing.
As first reported Friday evening in the Lynn Sweet blog, Obama decided to add the European meetings to a summer travel schedule already planned to include brief stops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“This trip will be an important opportunity for me to assess the situation in countries that are critical to American national security, and to consult with some of our closest friends and allies about the common challenges we face,” said Obama in a statement.
Ths will be the first time that Obama has met with heads of state as a potential United States president. Embassies in Washington have been alerted that the Obama team is orchestrating meetings with German chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The trips and meetings will take place before the August Democratic presidential nominating convention in Denver.
The trips to Europe will be part of the Obama presidential campaign. The visits to the war zones will conducted as official congressional business.
Still, the trips will be merged in the minds of the public as Obama makes his first visit overseas since his 2006 stops in Africa, including a pilgramage to his father's homestead in Kenya. Republicans have been making an issue that Obama has only made one short visit to Iraq.
The Sarkozy visit is a bit of turnabout. Obama met with Sarkozy in his Senate office on Sept. 12, 2006, when Sarkozy was visiting the U.S. as a run-up to his presidential campaign.
full statement at click..
from the Obama campaign....
Obama Campaign Announces Trip to Europe and the Middle East
CHICAGO, IL- The Obama campaign announced today that Senator Obama will be traveling overseas to assess the situation in countries that are critical to American national security, and to consult with close friends and allies. Senator Obama will visit France, Germany, Israel, Jordan and the United Kingdom where he will consult with the leaders of those nations about common challenges like terrorism, nuclear proliferation and climate change.
“This trip will be an important opportunity for me to assess the situation in countries that are critical to American national security, and to consult with some of our closest friends and allies about the common challenges we face,” said Barack Obama. “Israel is a strong and close friend of the United States, and is confronting grave threats from Gaza to Tehran. Jordan has been a close partner in the peace process and a host of other issues of common concern. France, Germany, and the United Kingdom are key anchors of the transatlantic alliance and have contributed to the mission in Afghanistan, and I look forward to discussing how we can strengthen our partnership in the years to come. This will be an important opportunity to have an exchange of views with leaders in these countries about these and other issues that are critical to American national security -- and global security -- in the 21st century.”
For a report on Sarkozy-Obama 2006 visit--Sarkozy also met with Sen. John McCain (R-Az.), now the GOP presumptive nominee, click