President Barack Obama is preparing for the first European trip of his
presidency, with plans to participate in a global economic summit, NATO and
regional gatherings, and various bilateral meetings.
Mr. Obama will leave for London on Tuesday to attend the summit of the G-20 industrialized and developing nations. A White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Saturday that the United States is going to listen, as well as lead, in talks about the global economic crisis.
The U.S. president also has plans to meet on the sidelines of the summit with a host of world leaders, including the British and Indian prime ministers, the presidents of China and Russia, and the king of Saudi Arabia.
Later in the week, Mr. Obama will meet in France with President Nicolas Sarkozy and in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel. He will also participate in a NATO working group.
After the NATO meetings, President Obama travels to Prague where he will attend an EU summit. Mr. Obama is also scheduled to hold talks with Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus and former Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, as well as former Czech President Vaclav Havel.
The U.S. president also plans a stop in Ankara, Turkey, for meetings with President Abdullah Gul. He will also hold a round table with students in an effort to reach out to young people in Europe and Southwest Asia.