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. Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA







    June 28, 2008 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  2. Dems

    Gee...it's about time!

    The only reason he's going is because of all of the flack he has taken for not visiting Iraq since 2006. Just like his wearing the flag pin, he only changes when the polls dictate he change.

    Obama = Jimmy Carter

    McCain '08!

    June 28, 2008 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  3. Sweden

    we will come u obama,,,europe loves u!!!

    June 28, 2008 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. saga for Obama

    guys he is going to give a lesson to the GOP, Bush Chaney and their protege McCain on how diplomacy should be done. i agree though Africa should be a target zone for him as well

    June 28, 2008 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  5. Cambob

    He's taking a vacation to Iraq? I hope he remember's to take his swimsuit and beach umbrella....

    June 28, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. virginia nielsen

    In Europe he is considered already our next president ! In my recent trip (Italy and Germany) that's all people talk about that they are very happy that finally USA is going to have an intelligent and competent president : BARACK OBAMA !!! God bless USA !!!

    June 28, 2008 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Remy

    It is the best time for Sen.Obama to introduce himself to the allies!

    June 28, 2008 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  8. Carl

    Just show boating,THAT'S ALL.

    June 28, 2008 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  9. Michelle

    A crash course–a photo opportunity–and nothing more.

    How about a DEBATE right here in the United States?

    June 28, 2008 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. aware


    This hard core Liberal leaves me cold. The very last thing America needs is this arrogant, pompous, devious, obfuscating, power-hungry guy with no moral center in the White House.

    He will do or say anything to win, and he will use use any combination of fuzzy words to influence the mainstream Americans he thinks are stupid enough to be fooled.

    A vote for this guy is a vote for the backward and downward spiral of America! 😦

    June 28, 2008 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Michelle

    Does anyone realize Obama's failures right
    here at home?

    He helped the slumlords in Chicago more than he helped
    the poor tenants themselves.

    June 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. aware


    This hard core Liberal leaves me cold. The very last thing America needs is this arrogant, pompous, devious, obfuscating, power-hungry guy with no moral center in the White House.

    He will do or say anything to win, and he will use any combination of fuzzy words to influence the mainstream Americans he thinks are stupid enough to be fooled.

    A vote for this guy is a vote for the backward and downward spiral of America! 😦

    June 28, 2008 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  13. Tejano

    Maybe you can convince our European allies to help with the War Against Radical Islam. Also ask, France and Germany to pay for their own defense., so we can bring home our boys from those countries and use our resources to defeat the real Enemy.

    June 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Dr. Bob

    NObama is an idiot. I can't wait for him to lose so all of you nobamanots will go away!!!!

    June 28, 2008 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. bk

    Obama is just going over there so he can avoid having debates and Town Hall meetings. What happened to "I'll debate John McCain any time any place any where?" All rhetoric and no substance. The media needs to hold Obama to his word.

    June 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  16. Bayou Joe

    Enjoy the Vacation. I hear the Riviera is nice this time of year. Went last year and enjoyed Italy and Spain. The Brits were great too, but I can't say the same for the French.

    June 28, 2008 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  17. Reality Check

    What about Japan? They have been very supportive of you.

    June 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  18. Debby, NJ

    Next Rock Star in the making !!...BARACK THE VOTE

    June 28, 2008 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  19. Jeff


    How is it that you have so much venom in you to say the things you've said about Obama. Criticizm is one thing, spewing hatred...wow, that was completely over the line. So in rebuttal to your short-sighted comments.

    1. Calling his supporter's "cult followers" is very offensive. There are over 18 million people across this great country of ours that would fall into that category. Your friends, your neighbors. Well...perhaps they're not friends or neighbors of yours. They're ACTUALLY educated, insightful, and and fair minded people. People that are sucessful and don't reside in the same trailor park you do.

    2. Obama wasn't given the nomination. HE WENT OUT AND TOOK IT FROM THE ESTABLISHED CANDIDATE. He out worked, out thought, and out fundraised Clinton. Clinton statred the race with all of the name recognition, money, donors, party establishment, and over 200 super delegates. Clinton had all of the advantages, and she was just beaten. Plain and simple. No conspiracy, just simple numbers. The rules were to obtain a specified number of DELEGATES to win the nomination. Not big states, blue states, red states, popular vote or any other measure. DELEGATES. He won the most by working harded and smarter.

    3. Calling Obama a false prophet? Where is that comming from? No one named him any kind of religious leader. The haters like yourself just don't like him for WHATEVER reason, so you need to try to make him out to something he isn't just to scare people.

    4. I will concede that Obama doesn't have the most extensive forign policy experience, but he has the right experience. Not like McCain that believes in doing things the same way they've been done for years, bullying and saber rattleing and expecting other countries to "fall in line". It hasn't worked to this point, what will change to make it work now? Nor has Obama fabricated his experience such as sniper fire, or negotiating peace in Bosnia or Ireland.

    So, if you don't like Obama and won't vote for him, just say it. Don't make things up or make excuses. Pull your head out of your rear, enroll in night school, community college, trade school or the Army. Put up, shut up, or go get a gun and shoot yourself, cause you aren't doing anyone any good,... including yourself.

    June 28, 2008 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  20. Gary Chandler in Canada

    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 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  21. G

    Good, more exposure gives voters more chances to examine both candidates in various venues, at home and abroad, which is related to the job they are running for. This will allow for more informed choice and there's nothing wrong with that at all.

    June 28, 2008 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  22. arnoldray

    He can't. Because when he does the new Iraqi leadership is going to tell him,

    "Thanks a lot for nothing, we have safety for our women and children and you are such a pansy Obambi (HAHAHA), spineless, heartless weak little man that you would leave us to be slaughtered. We are almost ready to defend ourselves and secure our future and secure a supply of free-market oil but you are willing to throw all of this progress down the toilet, just to gain power, thanks a lot you evil heartless gutless wussy of a half man. You don't even care that we are so close to success. You must really hate us that bad. And just what sect of Muslim are you anyway? You must be Sunni that is why you want us to be destroyed. Your name is Hussein just like the dictator that killed our people. He was Sunni too. That is why you want to see us fail. We are now living in peace but you want to ruin all that. We HATE you, get out of our country and never come again. You are not welcome here".

    June 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. Ula Nejad- Sacramento Ca

    Obama shows his lack of understanding on how to successfully run a country and one whose culture is entirely different from him as a muslim and indiviual. The regular folks like me could teach hima thing or two. My advise to McCain is to work the youth "Wise up" campaign. Bobby Jindal is crucial here. EVen if he is to appear via satellite. This will "rock the vote" while McCain deals with foreign policy. If Obama's sister, a Ph.D in cultural anthropology is moving the culture movement within the young people why not give Obama a challenge by Bobby Jindal's youth as governor.

    June 28, 2008 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  24. Kim

    Willy above says Obama will tax everyone to give money to the poor. Sorry Willy, you are ignorant or lying. Obama will actually lower taxes for anyone that makes less than two hundred thousand dollars.

    June 28, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  25. Helen, NY

    This guy from Wisconsin has guts to call John McCain.. Mcwar. Stop this nonsense. You do not know what the war is for. War is a serious matter. Tell Obama to go to Iraq. He is now going because John McCain asked him to do so. Get a life.

    June 28, 2008 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
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