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.
He will be welcome in France where 74% of the people support him and the rest of Europe. End of Bush era !!!
Scott L & Willy,
Please research Obama's tax cut plan to clear up any misperceptions. First of all, Obama will cut taxes for middle-to-low-income Americans, no capital gains on small businesses, and no taxes on senior citizens living on Social Security under $50,000. In case you were not aware, individuals making over $200K-$250K are in the wealthiest 1-2% income levels. That is not what many Americans would consider "a lot" of families in proportion to rest of us trying to make ends meet in a struggling economy.
Obama's tax cuts are taking a innovative bottom-up approach, as we have unfortunately seen the shortcomings of trickle-down economics today with the Bush tax plan for the wealthy that McCain has adopted.
Regarding the article, Godspeed Obama during his travels. I am confident he will represent America well.
Si se puede
Bring the world together with us....finally. Obama '08!
Well come to the rest of the world Obama. You will see and hear how we are so distressed with America this days. Its no longer the America we used to respect instead it is a war mongering country. You will realize how many of us want different American policy. War is never a solution but a fire stalker. You can only ensure the American safety by talking to the rest of the world. Ever wondered why Russia, China, Japan,France Germany and many other nations are not so paranoid about the safety of their citizens its because they learned the art of talking/diplomacy long ago.
Correction: Obama's tax cuts are taking "an" innovative bottom-up approach.
Finally a leader to demonstrate leadership and diplomacy.. Thanks Barack... be safe...
Good idea. He should have an unconditional chat with Obama Bin Ladin.
Just lay down and evaluate his experience and ability to handle foreign relations after the landslide upcoming november.
He doesn't need any trip to "beef up his foreign policy credentials" because he A God's born leader.
The R slime machine is back. Obama is going to take our hard earned money and give it to lazy people.
We are not that dumb. How do you suppose we fund the war? Paying for our failing infrastructure?
Don't say tax cuts. That does not work anymore. The elites just pocket the additional monies. Why do you think the divide in this country between the haves and the have nots is widening at an alarming rate? We are in desperate need of money as a country. We have incredible debt, and incredible deficit and reducing taxes for the wealthy is not the answer.
Well, he will put in an appearance, but he certainly can not learn what he needs to know to govern this country in one trip. He should have taken many trips by this time. Will he be another Clinton – use the military as a photo op to march the troops across the White House lawn? That's always good publicity.
Please come to Wiesbaden Army Airfield!!! We love you Obama <3 <3 <3
hi obama one off the best politishn
With the high rate of anti American sentiments in the world especially the arab world I doubt if mcWAR could have survived after being shot down over Iraq.
If experience is the best teacher as they say in English he should be the forerunner against the American war machine.
With due respect to the Senator I think it's time for him to concede defeat and quit the presidential race to save his time and money.
Yes, the Right time for the right change!
Good idea, but be careful.
I would rather have Obama working for peace then McWar killing Americans in a false war!
Finally somebody showed him on the map where these places are...
Mc. please pull out your campain and if you have left money could you give for Hillery? and then get rest and watch how change is all about.
IT'S A LONG, LONG WAY TO TIPPERARY. THE ROAD TO THE WHITE HOUSE IS EVEN LONGER AND IS FRAUGHT WITH
UNKNOWN OBSTACLES. SOME OF WHICH ARE RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE AND YOU CAN EASILY MISS THEM.
A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE MAY HAVE A BIG LEAD IN THE POLLS
BUT WHEN THE REALITY AMONG THE VOTERS SETS IN RIGHT UP TO THE VOTING BOOTH. SUDDENLY ALL THINGS CHANGE.
NEITHER McCAIN OR OBAMA REALLY HAS THE EDGE AT THIS TIME.. THE REAL BATTLES HAVE NOT YET BEGAN . AMERICA IS ANXIOUS TO KNOW THE VP RUNNING MATES OF EACH CANDIDATE. WE ARE AMONG THEM.
Heh heh. Obama tries to get some feel for present US-world relations by visiting some countries, and we see people finding fault in that...by not visiting Africa, or how he should remain on US soli campaigning, or how one visit doen't bolster knowledge of international affairs. Of course Bush hadn't stepped on foreign soil before he became president. C'mon, folks, cut Obama a little slack. At least you won't hear him calling his wife the C-word, he won't be throlwing the F-bomb at his colleagues, and he will never be singing "bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran."
Scott – how many folks do you know that make over $200 K that would pay more in taxes?
My friends make about 1/10th of that, and would love a tax reduction. Bush has been for padding wealthy pockets long enough.
TIME FOR A CHANGE
Hopefully he'll stay over there.
Does he even know where these places are?
He is NOT president yet, and he has no right negotiating with other countries until he is. That's for the current administration to do, no matter how much you might disagree with their policies. If we have every senator on a power trip go visit foreign countries and make their own deals we'll soon have the biggest international pandemonium on our hands!
The whole planet HATES us. I hope our next president can bring some of the respect back to the United States....
We don't need war, we need peace and respect that we deserve for all that we have done for the world.
Thank you senator Obama.