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

Obama plans trip to Europe and the Middle East

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/POLITICS/06/24/obama.clinton.debt/art.obama.ap.jpg caption="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. Christiane from Germany

    That is great that he comes to Germany!!!!

    June 28, 2008 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  2. bennyn

    Good Idea Mr.president,I know you are qualified to be president but it is only in America that a presidential candidate is subjected to all this.I am a white girl 21 years old and wonder how long it will take for my dear white brothers and sisters to get to know that what America needs is somebody who will help you with activities of daily living irrespective of his/her color or what is in one's ipod.Somethings are personal.Grow up guys.

    June 28, 2008 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Ridgeway

    Middle East, eh? Going to visit the "Old Country" so to speak.

    June 28, 2008 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Enlightened

    This is for Knoxvill, HATE ON! You speak the words of your father, and all he speaks is lies. Knoxville, YOU WILL RECEIVE A BLACK President in January 2009, whether YOU or others Like YOU, LIKE OR NOT!. Get over it. The Likes of YOU are not worthy to Unloose Senator Barack Obama's Shoes! HATE will eat you alive. As a matter of fact, IT ALREADY IS! DOPE!

    June 28, 2008 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  5. To all Obama haters

    People need to calm down he will visit iraq but he does not have to say it out loud when mccain goes to iraq nobody knows till he is there even a sitting president can't go he has to do it hiding so chill out Obama haters just watch how he will be recieved in the other countries the the countries will be on holiday cause Obama is visting just watch your TV and fill yourself with more hate .

    June 28, 2008 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  6. HMB-Sandman

    Hi Scott L,
    It is true, Obama wants to raise taxes. The Bush administration lowered taxes. But when a government fights a war, or does pretty much anything for the "common good" it has to pay for it. The Bush admin has paid for it by lowering taxes, and printing money in the form of higher inflation. Think about why gas prices are about 4 to 5 times higher since 2000. The way I figure, with a Democrat you pay in the form of higher taxes, with a Republican you pay in the form of higher inflation. My personal view is that higher taxes are better than higher inflation.

    June 28, 2008 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. Ardnuas

    GREAT..... I'm sure MOST of the people in Iraq want us OUT of their country, so they can run their OWN country...... so let's get OUT. We have been training them for 6 years, they KNOW what to do NOW!!!!

    June 28, 2008 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  8. Gerald - London, Uk

    In Britain, we can't wait to welcome Obama.

    This guy has got a realistic view of the world. We feel strongly that our friendship with America will be enormously enhanced with him as the US president.

    Just wait and see how he will be welcomed every where he goes in Europe.

    June 28, 2008 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  9. tainopower

    hope he can opens his eyes and see that our heroes r winning the war in iraq and let then finish the job.

    PS :if pull the troops out whit out winning the war it will be the obama presidential failure. and not Busch's if obama gets elected

    butt bean a Latino i cannot foreseen voting for obama not knowing anything about hes policies or anything that he has done.

    June 28, 2008 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |

    Willy, here you are again – talking about stuff you know nothing about!.
    So who you are going to vote for? McNasty ?

    J. C. – please do research before you vote for McCain. While he was laying in the bed when he was captured he was asking for his wife. The same wife he was married to when he was having an affair with the rich one he married when he divorced his wife after a bad car reck. No integrity but he does have a hot temper. His speeches are like being at a funeral. We must have someone that works on health care, lowing gas prices, creating job and works on the housing issues. Barack Obama is that person.

    June 28, 2008 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. McCain =War

    I feel the desperation of the Republicans and it makes me so happy.

    Obama is going to raise all our taxes, he has no foreign experience, he's an appeaser, he's muslim, he's scary, I don't trust him, he's too black, he's acting too white, he doesn't wear a flag pin, he treated Hillary bad, he didn't stick up for Bill when Bill tried to invoke race into the election, he bought the election, he rigged the election, he's sexist, he's elite.

    Come on people. If this is all the total and complete lies and nonsense you've got I see why your so desperate.

    btw, I think Knoxville, or Brian from Knoxville, or Angus, or whatever he chooses to pose as today is really Karl Rove with too much time on his hands .........hehehehehehehehehehehehe

    I know it's hard to stick of for Bush and McBush but you're gonna have to do alot better than that.

    June 28, 2008 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Grant

    To STAN:
    A senator can't just go into a hostile country and negotiate on behalf of the entire country. That would be completely over stepping his role, that is the job of the President and Secretary of State.

    Having experience as a POW makes you brave, courageous etc. However, it has absolutely nothing to do with knowing how to lead a country, how to conduct foreign policy or having good judgement. ("Bomb Iran, Bomb bomb Iran" is not good judgement.)

    Who is defining "foreign policy experience" anyway? Obama is the chairman of a Senate Sub-Committee on Foreign Relations. During his time in Congress McCain has served exclusively on committees dealing with internal affairs. Once again, being a POW or serving in the military does not qualify somebody to automatically have "foreign policy experience."

    Not to mention McCain does not even understand the decisions of the Supreme Court he hopes to fill with politically motivated judges. In response to their decision regarding the DC Hand-gun ban he said "I'm glad they ruled in favor of the 2nd Amendment." They simply interpreted it, they did not rule for or against it. Just because he holds a certain position on how to interpret a part of the Constitution, it does not mean that ruling the opposite way would have been "against" the Constitution as he implies. He also seems to think that Habeas Corpus is a political issue, when in fact it is a fundamental Constitutional right.

    And to anyone who is scared of so-called "big government" taking their money, maybe you should pay attention to where all of your tax dollars go in our current "small, libertarian, conservative, (insert buzz word here) government." To Wall Street investment firms who are screwed because they went overboard on sub-prime loans and other bad investments. To defense companies who make billions from no-bid contracts. You're so worried about welfare and preserving a Reaganesque supply side economy, but as Social Security and Medicare continue to come under fire, what about corporate welfare? Where is the free market when our largest corporations wan welfare instead of tax cuts? Why is the only welfare that is a problem the welfare that goes to the richest people in the country?

    Obama '08, Change

    June 28, 2008 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. StacyGA

    Why is this such a problem for some people? Why the hate ? the fact of the matter is he (Obama) has the experience of living in another country and visiting some countries in Africa already. GWB NEVER stepped foot in another country (except on family vacation) until well after he was President. So what gives here? If you don't like Obama then that is fine- don't vote for him. But why does EVERYTHING the man does, every word he says, Heck every word anybody else says(that he just happens to know has to be scrutinized and raked over the friggin coals so thoroughly? Can someone answer this intelligently and without insults and cheap talking points? He is trying to do the right thing in this instance and it is a good move. Heck McCain has made several BS trips to further his war agenda.

    June 28, 2008 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  14. McCain lover

    I love john McCain but barack Obama is a monkey

    June 28, 2008 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. Wati

    It is astonishing to notice that americans are dumb enough to believe Obama is muslim just cause his dad was one! Pick a clue he has been an avid church goer for 20 years. America has lost international prestige due to needless wars and Americans have lost respect from other countries due to egocentric leaders vote 4 the visionary vote obama and get educated ignorant fools

    June 28, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
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