Barack Obama will be the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima, Japan. Photo: on 11 April 2016, during a break in the G7 Ministerial Meetings, Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui shows U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault the Hiroshima Peace Memorial , the ruins of the Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima by the United States which ended the World War II Pacific campaign–
by Mary Foran
Besides his domestic travel agenda, U.S. President Barack Obama has taken to the skies in his final year in office, building a legacy of diplomatic efforts spanning the globe.
Some consider him somewhat of a “lame duck” President, (especially in the Republican ranks). The strange thing is, the U.S. media seems to practically ignore his international travels while they focus on the all-consuming coverage of the campaigning to replace him in November.
Obama’s behind-the-scenes diplomacy, just in 2016, includes the following agenda:
March 20-22: CUBA: Opening up relations with this Communist Island Nation after 50 years without diplomatic ties could be the most historic act of Obama’s Presidency.
March 23-24: ARGENTINA: A South American nation that gave the world Pope Francis and is key to Latin relations.
April 20-21: SAUDI ARABIA: Obama met with the Gulf Cooperation Council, and had an audience with King Salman and the Saudi Royal Court, discussing pressing Middle Eastern issues.
April 21-24: UNITED KINGDOM. Obama urged British voters to remain in the European Union ahead of their referendum on the subject on June 23rd. On April 22nd, Obama lunched with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip, Duke of Edinburgh at Windsor Castle, a day after the Queen’s 90th birthday. Obama also met with Prime Minister David Cameron at 10 Downing Street. The two leaders held a joint press conference. On April 23rd, Obama toured Shakespeare’s Globe Theater and viewed a bit of Hamlet to commemorate the 400th anniversary of playwright William Shakespeare’s death.
April 24-25: GERMANY. Obama then traveled to Hanover to join the U.S. delegation celebrating the Hannover Messe, the World’s largest industrial fair wiith German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
If things go as planned, Obama is scheduled to visit Hiroshima, JAPAN May 26-27 to attend the 42nd G7 summit meeting. He will visit VIETNAM in May at a time to be announced.
In June, Obama will make a state visit to CANADA, meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and he will address a joint session of the Canadian Parliament. Obama will also participate in the North American Leaders Summit with Prime Minister Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.
July 8-9 POLAND: Obama is scheduled to travel to Warsaw to attend the NATO Summit Meeting.
September 4-5 CHINA: Obama is scheduled to travel to China to attend the G-20 Summit Meeting in Hangzhou.
September 6-8 LAOS: Obama is scheduled to attend the East Asia Summit with the leaders of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Vientiane, Laos, a first visit to that country of a sitting U.S. President.
Then, on November 18-19 Obama will travel to Lima, PERU, to attend the APEC Summit Meeting.
By then we will know who the next U.S. President will be, and Barack Obama will have, for better or worse, established his legacy and made his mark in history.
Featured image: www.whitehouse.gov’s Facebook page
Prime Minster Trudeau: http://pm.gc.ca/eng via Creative Commons
Obama in the White House colonade: official White House photo/Chuck Kennedy
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