June 28th, 2008
11:08 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama plans trip to Europe and the Middle East

Sen. Obama plans to tour Europe and the Middle East this summer.

Sen. Obama plans to tour Europe and the Middle East this summer.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Barack Obama plans to visit Europe and the Middle East this summer, his campaign announced Saturday morning.

The senator from Illinois and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee will visit France, Germany, Israel, Jordan and Britain, his campaign says.

"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 released by his campaign.

"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," he added.

Obama also intends to visit Iraq and Afghanistan this summer, he said in a phone interview with Radio Iowa. His campaign said no details would be announced in order to maintain "the highest levels of security."

But, he told Radio Iowa, "In Iraq, my goal is to talk to the Iraqi leadership about making political progress so that we can start phasing down our troops in Iraq, and obviously I want to congratulate the troops for the extraordinary work they've done in reducing violence there."

And, "in Afghanistan the situation, unfortunately, has not been improving," Obama told Radio Iowa. "On many measures, things have been getting a little bit worse so the key is to talk to our commanders on the ground and find out, what do we need to do to strengthen our efforts there? Our troops have performed magnificently, but we don't probably have enough troops there, and we've got to do a better job on the reconstruction side to build the infrastructure that's needed in that country to consolidate long-term gains."

On the Europe trip, Obama said, "with our European allies, I think what's important is not only encouraging their ongoing involvement and support in areas like Afghanistan and on the military side, but also to discuss a wide range of economic issues. There are certain issues like climate change that
can't be addressed without the participation of the Europeans as well. So that's going to be something that hopefully we'll be working on over a long period of time, but when it comes to nuclear proliferation, Iran - those are issues where we've got to act in concert with our allies."

The trips come as Obama tries to beef up his foreign policy credentials with voters.

In a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 54 percent of Americans thought presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain would better handle foreign policy, 11 points ahead of Obama.

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama
soundoff (215 Responses)
  1. Mike Maddox

    I'll keep you in my prayers as you travel overseas, Senator.

    June 28, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  2. INDEPENDENT 4 Obama

    CNN..................In a recent CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll, 54 percent of Americans thought presumptive GOP presidential nominee John McCain would better handle foreign policy, 11 points ahead of Obama................McSAME was a POW but no leadership ROLL ...................IT IS WHAT IT IS !!!!!!

    June 28, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  3. Scott L

    Who cares, domestically he will be raising taxes if elected.

    Why would you vote for someone that is going to raise taxes? If you think it is just for those making over 200k you are dreaming. Funny how "details are starting to emerge"...means they've been trying to hide his plans for some time now. A LOT of families make over 250k and a lot of individuals make over 200k (read small business owners). Obama just lost their votes come November. If they vote for him, they must be drinking some Flavor Aid. Say he raises 5% on 200k. That is $10,000. So by pushing the button for Obama, you automatically give up $10,000 of your hard earned money.


    June 28, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. alpha

    go obama 08!
    europe will be waiting for u.
    I think u'll be the right man to talk to jalal talabani so that he can understand why we wana pull our troops from iraq.
    Shame on u mcbush!

    June 28, 2008 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  5. saga for Obama

    GO Obama, lets start to heal the damage Bush Chaney GOP and McCain have caused.

    McCain has the most hateful people supporting him, show the world the better side of America.

    McCain=ties to Mafia
    McCain=infidelity to his wife and abandoning his kids
    McCain=lobby group and special interest groups but NOT the American people
    McCain=aiding war mongers.
    a hero would what to bring the men and women in uniform back home, not keep them in this ILLEGAL war of EXXON to get no bid contracts
    McCain=tax cut for the rich only at the expense of you and me.
    McCain= MORE BUSH/CHANEY agenda


    June 28, 2008 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  6. Senator,

    It is great that you are visiting these countries (especially Israel), but you need to show you are not afraid to go to Iraq and Afghanistan too!
    That is what Americans expect to see.
    In fact, you should go there before the other countries.

    June 28, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. Ben

    When it comes to foreign policy, I believe that Obama would be the better diplomat. Go Obama.

    June 28, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  8. A Democrat No More, California

    A trip to Europe or the Middle East in the summer does not qualify as foreign policy credentials that's called a vacation. He should have been beefy up his foreign policy credentials before he ran for president.

    June 28, 2008 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  9. Henry

    Yes. I want Barack to speak publically in London!

    June 28, 2008 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  10. Kim

    Good! Perhaps when voters see how well Obama is recieved overseas. And how well versed Obama is on foriegn affairs. In contrast to McBush whom foriegn leaders fear will be four more years of Bush. Maybe the polls in the near future will not show that McBush is thought of as experienced in foriegn affairs.

    June 28, 2008 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  11. Cynthia

    I think it is good that Senator Obama will be going to meet with other foreign leaders around the world. Once they meet with him, I'm sure they will be impressed.

    June 28, 2008 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  12. Felly

    World President Obama is the real deal.

    June 28, 2008 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  13. What about Africa Barack?

    Hello Barack? Isnt Africa part of the global community that helps in fighting terrorism? Why ignore Africa? With due respect please visit Africa and forget about swift boats who would potray it as going "home". Please dont forget Africa .


    June 28, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  14. Michelle

    Ahhh, Obama's world tour. How cute!

    Meanwhile, he has zero legislative accomplishments.

    And he has done little to help the poor.
    Boston Globe's expose proves it:
    “Grim Proving Ground for Obama’s Housing Policy.”

    Mr. Hope and Change is the exact opposite of his

    And by the way, I don't see PUMA as "attacking" Obama. Legitimate
    criticism is not an attack.

    June 28, 2008 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  15. Cathy in MD

    I think it’s great that Obama is planning this trip. It’s never too early for foreign leaders to get to know the next President of the United States. But, as far as this voter is concerned, Obama does not need to “beef up his foreign policy credentials.” I trust his judgment and I am completely confident in his ability to protect and defend this country while maintaining strong diplomatic relations with the rest of the world.

    June 28, 2008 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  16. monge

    This trip is going to be big! They love Obama all over the world. Just sit down and observe the craziness is going to start. It is going to be like a Rock Start all over the world!!!!!

    June 28, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  17. silas

    Go and tell em that Change is Coming to the White House. The democrats are bring diplomacy to our allies and stiff stance to those that would inflict harm on any American. We are moving forward and encourage them to move with us for a better world for us and our future generations.

    OBAMA 08

    Maybe McCain cud run in 2025. Vote McCain in 2025

    June 28, 2008 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  18. P. Morrison

    I am pleased to hear this. I see it as the first step in acquainting himself with other countries. It seems that most of the world hates us-hopefully he can change those feelings. I continue to believe his best choice for V.P. would be someone with foreign policy expertise. This appears to be his weakest link according to recent polls.

    OBAMA/BIDEN '08-???

    June 28, 2008 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  19. Daniel, WA

    Barack is a kid. He has never met these world leaders. I know that media like CNN/MSNBC will give big publicity. White House is not a learning center. Barack is a disaster for USA. Belive it. To CNN: Why don't you publish my connets, facts here. You want to give space to these liberals almost 90-95%. You are truly biased.

    June 28, 2008 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  20. cbenji in NYC

    all this waiting is frustrating. can't we just kick bush out the white house a few months early, and let Obama get started fixing this country now?

    June 28, 2008 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  21. ben

    Good idea to visit these countries, but do not let McBush dictate your schedule. I'm sure you will be a huge breath of FRESH AIR to these countries after having to put up with our current leader these past 7 and 1/2 years.

    June 28, 2008 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  22. Florida- Livin

    Sounds like the right move. Obama has it right. Inclusion helps to solve more problems then create them. No McCain you are the 3rd Bush term and Drilling in Florida would have never got Christ voted in. What sell outs. Drilling along a coast where almost every inch is key to the States success.

    June 28, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  23. JB

    good. about time for some leadership.

    June 28, 2008 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  24. Doug dougala

    I think he should visit Italy and spain as well.

    June 28, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  25. California Voter

    It's good that he's taking these trips to familarize himself with these countries, however, one doesn't become "experienced" in foreign affairs by taking a trip to a foreign country. Does not one recall the negative comments made by his campaign about Hillary's overseas trips during her eight years in the White House. But the American public seems to fall for a facade. We need Hillary on the ticket!

    June 28, 2008 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
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