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. randy

    Great,this is on on great news.obama will make any excellent president. Please if you havent register to vote please do. And vote barack obama on november 4,


    June 28, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  2. pam Eugene OR

    I am glad he is not announcing his exact travel plans. I think it will be a good time to talk to other world leaders first hand. Have a safe journey Barack.

    June 28, 2008 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  3. Joe M

    Wating for McCain's campaign to start the drums because Obama is apparently not going to Iraq. Good move. Our troops have enough on their hands without using manpower to protect one of the most high profile Americans on the planet. If McCain thinks it's necessary to grandstand like that, so be it, but, to me, it stands right up there with Presidents going to disaster zones right after the event and taking up a lot of effort that could be better used in relief.

    Not partisan here, just a thought.

    June 28, 2008 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  4. Gary Chandler in Canada

    Where is the beef?
    Obama could ask Britain, Germany and France what they think of McCain's "plan" to boot Russia, and bar China from the G8!?
    Would the other member States have any say in this? (Canada, Japan, Italy)
    Y'all (McCain supporters) might think it's 'unpatriotic' or 'something' to consult with Allies, but will please STOP wearing Canadian flags when travelling abroad!?
    McCain crashed 2 jets, jumped over more qualified candidate into flight school, and promoted to Captain because he was born into an 'elite' military family. His only military decision making was what music to play when releasing bombs from 10,000 feet.
    Wikipedia his great senate record. It will only take a few moments.
    Check his flip flop record on the King holiday.
    Notice Obama and he cosponsored a Bill on green house gases.
    His stance on Russia and China and the G8 makes him internationally dangerous and isolationist!
    He will run your country the way he flew trainer jets, Crash and Crasher.

    June 28, 2008 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  5. Zol

    Great idea, but don not only just talk with leaders. please meet the folks on the street and cafeterias and hear how the "Republicans" bore billions of America haters, with their absurd foreign policies.
    And do not forget to tell them that America will soon embrace the rule of law rejecting the rule of money- for the new President is going to bapitize us with the true Christianity.
    No more lobbying–legal bribing. We need a president of the people of America. president only for the high-heeled is a thing of the past.
    May God bless " the city on the hill"–America.

    June 28, 2008 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  6. carrie obama

    please be careful,Mr president
    i do not trust these republicans.

    June 28, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  7. Shokunbi Oladapo

    What Senetor Obama about to embark on is one of the best way to develop international rapour, i quite salute his courage and being stand out, Been Africa-America i think he have both potentials.
    If the November election should be general infact i will vote OBAMA, Mccain should try to know the gimic behind 21century elections, is for young sharp that ready to make change

    OBAMA 2008
    OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for ALL!!!!!!!!!!!
    ALL for OBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 28, 2008 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  8. Jerry in Fresno

    McCain is too old; he is a cold war warior. The world has changed and he can't.

    June 28, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  9. john

    0bama 08/12.

    June 28, 2008 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  10. Nate

    Its about time Obama recognised that events outside of the US affect us. Maybe he will finally recognise that this is a necesary war?

    June 28, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  11. Geovanie

    Mccain is to old to run a country... He is forgetful, takes weekends off, and has the greatest potential of getting old people lethargy. Let the new kid in, he has too much on the line to be a lousy president. Think about that he will be the FIRST black president. A lot of personal responsibility comes with that title. He Will Try Harder!

    0bama 08

    June 28, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  12. independent

    the world wants obama as president ,and so do i.

    June 28, 2008 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  13. JB you fool

    What you state is true that irrational exuberance was largely why the economy boomed in the 90's, but it is how Bill Clinton handled the economy overall that gives him the credit he deserves. If you are to speak about irrational exuberance, you should read Greenspan's book in order to understand Bill's role in it.

    I don't think most people accredit bill with the Market Boom but rather the economic state of the nation.

    Go Obama 08

    June 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  14. Tony

    I like a lot of what Obama has to say, but you Obama people need to remember (or at least try to understand) that he has a very receptive audience here in the U.S.; people who idolize him and think he's the second coming.

    On the other hand, many world leaders (and especially those with positions opposing ours, such as Iran, Syria, India, etc.) will see him as a complete newbie...they're not going to care about how inspriration his speech is, they're just going to be happy that he's inexperienced. If he is elected, I hope he's smart enough to know the difference between adoring American crowds full of people who hang on his every word, and those outside who will be happy to exploit his lack of experience. Big speeches don't do anything with world leaders.

    June 28, 2008 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  15. Independent Voter

    Good to see BO taking advice from McCain. It's a great big world out there, Barry. Perhaps you thought Chicago was all there was. Check it out. You might be surprised.

    I wish you were just a bad joke.

    June 28, 2008 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  16. Independent Voter

    I just listened to McCain discuss Iraq, and he is so much better on foreign policy. What a relief to have someone with EXPERIENCE AND ACCOMPLISHMENT representing the US.

    I'm voting for McCain!

    June 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  17. nnate, OH


    Not only was your post irrelevant to the post above, but profane to each candidates Hillary Clinton's and Barack Obama's attempts for unity yesterday morning. This is insulting to both Clinton and Obama supporters alike, for we both hold Bill Clinton's presidency to great esteem.

    For a topic such as this, I am glad that Obama is taking a trip to the Middle East. It shows that he is not afraid to learn the progress the Iraqi people are making. It would also give him an unique perspective for his policies if he does become president.

    June 28, 2008 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
  18. Frank O'Neil

    This is the next president of the United States. For all republicans planning on voting democrat: You’re welcome to do so because voting party line is just a confirmation that republicans are dumb and just do whatever their leaders (king) tell them to. If you don’t rebut your own party, what would make them change their way?
    This election has to be decided on a landslide in favor of the democrats in order to send a real message to our own party (Mcbush, Mcsame, Mcidiot) the idiocy of their arguments and the fear and war mongering.

    June 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. Bob, Hamilton


    June 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  20. nathan

    To JB
    One more time. when Bill Clinton is in office, he largely invested in science, and encourage high-tech, that's one of the reasons which created economy boom. but now all those internet company shipped their jobs to overseas.
    It seems that you are idiot, know nothing about economy, except personal attack.
    According to your logic, Bill clinton did nothing about economy.but i didn't see any other president who creates 8 year boom. BTW, you deserve Bush president, because he also did nothing to american economy based on your idea.
    Most stupid idea.

    June 28, 2008 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  21. Bob

    ... yes, it was for sure not Bill C. that boosted the economy those days...that exploded into our face...and he was never such a charismatic President, as he loves to be seen.. but it is also not wise, to smear him for his uncontrolled human behaviour...nobody is perfect...and no one should act like he is...those are the ones that have always surprised is...with their shadow life...if anyone is for OBAMA...learn from him and unite...look forward and not back...nothing can be changed in the past...but its now and maybe the future that gives us the chance for change.
    I do look forward..to have a President in the white house, that loves his wife and rocks it...its been a long time since it happened last.

    June 28, 2008 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  22. s

    He's going to be well received!!! A shot to show the amreican people we have the chance to once again be respected in much of the world. I think he should try visiting Africa too.

    Obama '08

    June 28, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  23. Venus

    Can't wait for his visit to these countries!

    Go get em' Bam!

    People need to read the subjects and then blog!

    June 28, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  24. an ohio voter

    Go to hell, JB...11;26 AM

    June 28, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  25. sonya

    now he wants to boost his foreign policy resume?? a little late don't you think..

    June 28, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
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