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. Phil, FL

    I believe Obama would be a better US representative OF the US than his Republic counterpart.

    The rest of the world leaders respect Obama and the fact that he's willing to have diplomacy first rather than the old warmonger chant of bomb bomb bomb bomb bomb

    We need to get away from the rootin' shootin' reputation we have. I'm ashamed of Bush, and I'm starting to be ashamed of McBoring.

    June 28, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. JB -2

    Jb is right. It has nothing to do with Jimmy Carter (decline) or Bill Clinton (progress), It is their luck, as to how the economy turned in their favour.

    June 28, 2008 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Jim

    Willy, With all due respect Obamas economics plan is nearly the same as Hillerys. Ignorance is not bliss............

    June 28, 2008 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. Reggie

    Mr. Obama is a great leader and he will make a great President!!!

    June 28, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  5. David Illinois

    To JB- There you go. One more reason not to support Obama and his rude,snide and out of touch supporters. Just when we Hillary supporters think about maybe voting for Obama some nitwit like this reminds us just how snobbish and beyond contempt his crowd can be. Go ahead and fault the only Democrate to win the Pres.TWICE you pinhead. It is because of people like you who would rather put up a feel good super liberal(like we have not tried that before and lost) rather than a real viable candidate like Hillary-that is why some of us life long democrates will never vote for Obama. Hillary is doing what she has to do to maintain her position in the party...Why she would want to is beyound me after the old lions of the party treated her like dirt. We however do not have to support that Dnc has they try to ram Obama down our throats. He would never have won if the party heads had not switched and thrown their support to him. He is proving every day with his flip flopping fandago that is just another slick "Chicago Pol" who will do and say anything to get elected. Throw the Rev Wright under the bus right there with his old grandmother and his pledge to use public money and you begin to see just how much of a liar he is. So go ahead and trash Bill Clinton. He and Hillary will be there when the party comes crawling back to them to save it once again from becoming just a mouthpiece for the unpatriotic super liberals that destroyed it the first time. At least PUMA has some integrity something Obama has not yet managed to steal.

    June 28, 2008 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  6. Adam

    "beef up his foreign policy credentials "…
    with one trip? holly cow, how stupid he thinks we are?

    How stupid we are to think John McCain will be anything more than four years of hell!

    June 28, 2008 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  7. I Used To Be A Democrat

    Obama doesn't need security in Iraq and Afghanistan because Al Queda is one of his supporters.

    June 28, 2008 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  8. Franky

    Ohhh yeah, this is BIG!! Good job...

    June 28, 2008 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  9. Texas Trail Dog

    what a treat him going to a now peaceful country thanks to our troops that he intends to destroy. i hope the arabs keep him.

    June 28, 2008 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  10. Texas Trail Dog


    June 28, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  11. David Goldman for OBAMA








    June 28, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  12. MD in GA

    Just want the Senator to be careful and well. Praying for a safe trip there and back...

    June 28, 2008 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  13. JustADude


    First get a clue then we will take your posts for real. While you are at it don´t forget a spell-checker.

    June 28, 2008 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  14. Freida from Frankfurt

    The world loves Obama. He has fans all over the world waiting for him to be President, and leader of the free world.

    You people are so lucky to have a leader like him.

    June 28, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  15. 58 old white ladies for OBAMA




    June 28, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  16. Horace

    It amazes me at the frequency with which unqualified people discuss the subject of Education. To accuse one of being "uneducated" based soley on one's opinion would, I think, indicate the accuser may suffer from the same condition!

    June 28, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I'm sure Obama will be well received by our allies who also agree with Obama to stop the war in Iraq which has caused our national approval ratings to be so low. I don't see the importance of Obama visiting the Middle East if it's just for John McCain to use it for a political point as he does. It totally disgust me for McCain to talk about progress when American soldiers are still dying and he does nothing to support veterans.

    June 28, 2008 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Rob indetroit

    Sen. Obama please keep traval plans secret. for security reason's.

    June 28, 2008 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. Obama: 2nd Term Carter

    saga for Obama June 28th, 2008 10:45 am ET

    McCain=lobby group and special interest groups but NOT the American people


    "Obama says “I do not take money from oil companies” but forgot to say that McCain does not either. Look up the Facts!!! Obama also forgot to say that 2 of his bundlers are top executives at oil companies that give $50,000 and $100,000 to him. That is a fact and you can even see that listed on his own website."

    "Two of Obama's fundraisers are Robert Cavnar, the chairman and chief executive of Houston-based Mission Resources Corp., and George Kaiser, the president and CEO of Tulsa-based Kaiser-Francis Oil Co."

    June 28, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. APS in Hawaii

    What a joke publicity joke. The Chairman of Afghanistan committee as yet to visit that country or call a hearing about the real war. What a disgrace and this is the leader Obama supporters are forcing on us REAL Democrats. Obama is pathetic and I will never vote for him. No drama, no to Obama.

    June 28, 2008 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  21. Debby

    Big deal McCain has done this trip 3 times over already and so has Hillary.

    June 28, 2008 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  22. David

    I know that Osoma Barack wants to penalize motivated people and encourage lazy people. How great Mr Osama's ideas on tax?

    June 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  23. Bishop

    Frieda apparently you are very stupid. This is not a trip to Frieda's playhouse, Disney, Mexico, Canada, or Columbia. This is to a war zone. You would have to be a DONKEY to NOT "beef up his foreign policy credentials with voters". Especially with a voter like you...

    June 28, 2008 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  24. Vivienne

    He better take Michelle.

    June 28, 2008 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  25. Lynn

    Thanks David for taking care of JB.

    June 28, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
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