LONDON (AP) – President Barack Obama embarked on his Europe trip Tuesday, with a hefty economic and national security agenda for his first journey across the Atlantic since taking office two months ago.
The president and first lady Michelle Obama arrived in London Tuesday night local time. First up for the president was a summit of the world’s economic powers to address the global financial meltdown.
Obama planned to meet with leaders of Britain, Russia and China – major players in the U.S. financial system. He also scheduled meetings with leaders of India and South Korea while in London.
During his eight-day, five-country trip, Obama is scheduled to meet with European leaders who split with the United States over the war in Iraq and the treatment of suspected terrorists held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, under President George W. Bush.
He also will participate in a NATO summit marking the 60 years since the alliance was founded to blunt Soviet aggression in Europe.
Obama plans to attend international summits on urgent topics, including the downward-spiraling fight against terrorists in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He also will make his first stop in a Muslim nation, Turkey.
Wildly popular around the globe but relatively inexperienced in foreign affairs, Obama and the first lady also will squeeze in a Buckingham Palace audience with Queen Elizabeth II. He will deliver a speech in France on the trans-Atlantic relationship and an address in Prague on weapons proliferation. And he will host a round-table session with students in Turkey.