Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Obama Snubs Europe

Barack Obama Last Year On US/Europe Relations:

"In America, there's a failure to appreciate Europe's leading role in the world. Instead of celebrating your dynamic union and seeking to partner with you to meet common challenges, there have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive... So I've come to Europe this week to renew our partnership, one in which America listens and learns from our friends and allies."
Barack Obama speaking at the Rhenus Sports Arena in Strasbourg, France - April 3, 2009

"We exercise our leadership best when we are listening; when we recognize that the world is a complicated place and that we are going to have to act in partnership with other countries...; when we show some element of humility..."
Barack Obama speaking at the G-20 summit in London - April 2009

"I just think in a world that is as complex as it is, that it is very important for us to be able to forge partnerships as opposed to simply dictating solutions."
News conference by President Obama, ExCel Center, London, United Kingdom, April 2, 2009

"I know that promises of partnership have gone unfulfilled in the past... The United States has... at times been disengaged, and at times we sought to dictate our terms. But I pledge to you that we seek an equal partnership... I'm here to launch a new chapter of engagement..."
Barack Obama speaking at the Summit of the Americas opening ceremony, Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago - April 17, 2009

Barack Obama Now:

From the Guardian UK
A diplomatic spat has broken out over a decision by Barack Obama to break with tradition and not attend an EU-US summit in Spain in May.

The move is being seen as a snub to Europe and a sign that the promise of a more international approach from the US under Obama is being overtaken by more pressing domestic concerns.

European leaders had assumed that Obama would be at the summit, which is due to be held in Madrid because Spain currently holds the rotating EU presidency. But yesterday the state department said the president was not planning to attend...
From Reuters:

"[Obama] does not always seem as interested in Europe as Europe is in the United States," said an EU diplomat.
From the New York Times:

In addition to the palpable sense of insult among European officials, there is a growing concern that Europe is being taken for granted and losing importance in American eyes....

American officials said that Mr. Obama felt that the previous major American-European summit meeting, last June in Prague, was a waste of time, and European Union officials said that the president even skipped a leaders’ lunch at the smaller European Union-United States meeting in Washington last November, sending Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. instead, something they said that President George W. Bush would never have done..
"There have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive..."

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