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Published: Wednesday, 5/25/2011

Obama in Europe

President Obama’s six-day trip to Europe is enabling him to meet with key world leaders on a host of critical issues.

Mr. Obama’s itinerary includes Deauville, France, where he will attend the conference of the Group of 8 economic powers. He then will attend the Central and Eastern Europe Summit of Presidents in Poland.

Mr. Obama likely will address some leaders’ discontent that U.S. foreign policy under him has concentrated largely on the Middle East and Asia: the waning wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the new war in Libya, the death of Osama bin Laden, and the economic and military issues presented by China’s growing power.

Tops on the President’s list for discussion with European leaders is the horrendous debt and other financial problems they and the United States face. Ireland and Portugal are still wobbling. Some measures Europe is taking to steer the euro through rough waters are resisted by voters whose benefits are being trimmed.

Mr. Obama may hear praise for seizing the issue of the stalled Middle East peace process. The European Union has been disturbed by what it called America’s earlier reluctance to take the lead on that issue as the “Arab Spring” has spread.

This trip affords President Obama the chance to address matters of peace and prosperity in one journey.

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