By Jueseppi B.
June 3 to June 6
As part of the United States’ ongoing consultations with our allies, President Obama is traveling to Poland, Belgium, and France, June 3-6, 2014. While in Warsaw, the President will hold bilateral meetings and join other world leaders in commemorating the Polish Freedom Day, marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s emergence from Communism. From Poland, the President will travel to Brussels for the G-7 Leaders’ Summit, and will then continue on to France to participate in commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
Previewing the President’s Trip to Europe
Published on May 30, 2014
Statement by the Press Secretary on the President’s Travel to Europe in June 2014
As part of the United States’ ongoing consultations with our allies, President Obama will travel to Poland, Belgium, and France in June 2014. While in Warsaw, the President will hold bilateral meetings and join other world leaders in commemorating the Polish Day of Freedom, marking the 25th anniversary of Poland’s emergence from Communism. From Poland, the President will travel to Brussels for the June 4-5 G-7 Leaders’ Summit, which was moved to Brussels after the G-7 Leaders agreed to cancel the G-8 Summit in Sochi due to Russia’s illegal annexation and occupation of Crimea.
The Leaders will discuss their broad shared economic, security, and development agenda and follow up on their March 24 discussion in The Hague on the situation in Ukraine. The President then will continue on to France to participate in commemorations marking the 70th anniversary of D-Day. The President appreciates the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families, and he looks forward to honoring them, along with the contributions of all the Allies. Further details will be provided at a later time.
Tuesday, June 3
- President Obama participates in an arrival ceremony at Warsaw Chopin Airport with President Komorowski, after which they meet American and Polish airmen.
- President Obama and President Komorowski hold a bilateral meeting at Belweder Palace, followed by a press conference.
- Afterward, President Obama and Prime Minister Tusk have a bilateral meeting at the Polish Chancellery, followed by remarks to the press.
- In the afternoon, President Obama and President Komorowski co-host a meeting of Central and European Leaders at the Presidential Palace.
- That evening, President Obama attends an official dinner at the Royal Castle to honor Poland’s Solidarity movement.
Wednesday, June 4
- President Obama meets with President-elect Poroshenko of Ukraine.
- In Brussels, President Obama meets with King Philippe and Prime Minister Di Rupo of Belgium at the Royal Palace.
- That evening, President Obama attends the G-7 Summit, which begins with a leaders working dinner on foreign policy issues.
Thursday, June 5
- President Obama participates in G-7 meetings on economics and energy and climate.
- President Obama then attends the G-7 leaders working lunch on development.
- Following the G-7, President Obama and Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom hold a bilateral meeting.
- President Obama then departs for Paris.
- In Paris, President Obama and President Hollande of France have a private dinner.
Friday, June 6
- President Obama departs Paris for Normandy, France.
- President Obama and President Hollande participate in a ceremony at the American cemetery close to Omaha Beach, the site of the American landing in Normandy.
- President Obama then attends a lunch with leaders, hosted by France.
- Later that afternoon, President Obama attends the official international 70th D-Day commemoration ceremony at Sword Beach, Normandy, and then departs for the USA.
After that, the President will depart France and come home to Washington, D.C. on Friday night.
Press Briefing by Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes on the President’s Upcoming Trip to Poland, Belgium and France
Via Conference Call
3:02 P.M. EDT
MS. HAYDEN: Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining on what we know has been a fairly busy Friday for you. Today we’re going to do a preview of the President’s trip to Europe next week. Our speaker is Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, Ben Rhodes. He’ll be speaking to you on the record, and there’s no embargo on this call.
So with that, I will hand it over to Ben.
MR. RHODES: Thanks, everybody, for joining the call on what I know has been a busy day. I’ll just say at the outset that, echoing I think what you heard the President say, we are very sad that Jay Carney will be leaving us. He’s been a tremendous friend and colleague to all of us who work here in the White House the last five years. I know he has very green pastures to return to, but we’re sorry that he is leaving us and won’t be on this upcoming trip. But we’ve enjoyed so much working with him, learning from him, and getting his perspective not just as a Press Secretary but as a former journalist and foreign correspondent himself.
With that, let me just go through some of the objectives for the President’s upcoming trip, and then his schedule. First of all, I think this trip to Europe comes at a very important time in the Transatlantic relationship as we seek to reaffirm our commitments to our European allies, deepen our cooperation with our European allies, and pursue an agenda that can shore up both the security and economic foundations of the Transatlantic partnership.
I think in terms of the issues that will be in play throughout the President’s trip, we generally will have a focus on our support for the people and government of Ukraine; our efforts to strengthen and modernize NATO; our work to diversify European energy security; and our negotiations around the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership. So there’s a broad agenda for the President throughout the trip.
To go through his schedule, we will arrive in Warsaw on Tuesday morning. He will meet President Komorowski at the airport, and then President Obama and President Komorowski will have the opportunity to meet with some of the American and Polish airmen who are supporting our aviation mission that is based at Lask Air Force Base in Poland. This was an additional step the United States took in providing F-16s and an aviation detachment to Poland as part of our effort to reassure our European and particularly Eastern European allies in the aftermath of Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. So the two leaders will have a chance to thank some of the personnel involved in that effort.
Following that event the President will have a bilateral meeting at the Belweder Place with President Komorowski. The U.S.-Polish alliance is critical to the Transatlantic relationship generally and is a foundation of America’s support for not just the Polish people but Eastern European allies generally. And the leaders will have an opportunity to discuss the situation in Ukraine, NATO, and energy, and the broader U.S.-Polish relationship.
Later in the afternoon, the President will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Tusk, where he’ll continue that discussion rooted in the bilateral relationship. Then the United States and Poland will host a meeting of our broader Eastern and Central European allies. The President has done this on a couple of occasions earlier in his presidency. And given the focus on reassuring and consulting with our Central and Eastern European allies, we determined with the Poles that it would be good to host this meeting in Warsaw. This will include the United States and Poland, as well as Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and of course, the United States and Poland are co-hosting that meeting. So they will also review the agenda that I spoke of earlier.
That evening the President will attend a Solidarity Dinner at the royal palace. Of course, we are visiting Poland on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Solidarity — well, the first partially free election in Poland’s history that grew out of the courage and heroism of the Solidarity movement. So the President will have an opportunity to meet with the leaders and other attendees at that Solidarity Dinner where I know the Polish government is paying tribute to people who have played a critical role in advancing democracy and human rights.
On Wednesday morning the President will hold a bilateral meeting with President-elect Poroshenko of Ukraine. This is an important time for President Obama to affirm directly to President-elect Poroshenko our commitment to the people of Ukraine. We have a broad agenda to work with them; to stabilize the economy; to provide significant assistance as they seek to reestablish stability and growth within Ukraine; and also, of course, to support their efforts to reduce tensions to pursue dialogue and unity within Ukraine; and also to work with the European allies, with Russia, and above all with the government of Ukraine to facilitate dialogue to reduce the tensions within Ukraine.
Again, we very much admired that the people of Ukraine have turned out in huge numbers to elect President-elect Poroshenko. We’ve admired his commitment to pursue dialogue and to aim to reduce tensions and put Ukraine on a positive path. And in these days before his inauguration, this will be an important time for the President to check in directly and review his agenda.
Following that bilateral meeting, the President will go to the Royal Castle, where he will meet with other leaders attending the Freedom Day event. At the Royal Castle, the President will be one of the speakers who will give the speech commemorating the Day of Freedom. In his speech, I think he’ll have an opportunity to speak about the history of the democratic movement within Poland, its resonance beyond Poland’s borders, and its connections to many of the movements for democracy and human rights in Eastern Europe and around the world.
He’ll also have a chance to reaffirm America’s unwavering commitment to secure democracy and to the security of our Eastern European allies, recognizing that Poland, as much as any nation, understands that democracy is something that needs to be constantly defended and constantly advanced. And so it will be a resonant opportunity for him to speak to the people of Poland about our commitment to their security and their democracy.
After that event, the President will fly to Brussels. He will travel to the Royal Palace and have a meeting with King Philippe. Then he will attend the G7 summit. And, as you know, we made the decision to host the Summit in Brussels after suspending Russian participation and moving the summit, of course, from Sochi to Brussels.
That night, the leaders will have a dinner — a working dinner together. The focus will be on foreign policy issues, and certainly Ukraine will be a focus of the discussion that night.
On Thursday, the President will attend G7 meetings on the global economy, and energy and climate issues. The energy piece will build on the energy ministerial that took place that did discuss how to move forward on energy diversification and cooperation among G7 countries and the United States and Europe broadly.
Following that, there will be a working lunch on development issues. In the afternoon, after the G7 Summit is concluded, the President will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom. Then the President will travel to Paris. That night in Paris, he will have a private dinner with President Hollande before spending the night in Paris.
On Friday, the President will travel to Normandy. This, of course, is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, an opportunity for the President to pay tribute to our veterans who served in D-Day and then World War II more broadly. And he’ll speak to their extraordinary service. He’ll also connect, of course, their extraordinary service to what we’ve seen from the 9/11 generation, who have similarly stood up to serve in a time of war, and done so with great bravery and patriotism.
The President will deliver remarks at Omaha Beach for a French-American commemoration, D-Day ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery Memorial. And then in the afternoon, the President will travel to Sword Beach, where he will attend a lunch hosted by President Hollande with the other leaders that the French have invited for the 70th anniversary commemorations. And then he will attend the international ceremony that the French are hosting with all the leaders of the various belligerent countries in World War II.
After that, the President will depart France and come home to Washington, D.C. on Friday night.
President Obama returns to Europe in early June to meet with allies in Poland, Belgium, and France.
Obama will celebrate Polish independence, meet with the leaders of the Group of Seven nations, and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in Normandy, France, during the trip.
In Warsaw, Obama will honor the Polish Day of Freedom, marking the 25th anniversary of that nation’s rejection of communist rule.
On June 4-5, Obama will be in Brussels for a G-7 summit with the leaders of the Great Britain, France, Italy, Canada, Japan, and Germany. The leaders organized this meeting after canceling a G-8 summit scheduled for Russia because of its incursion into Ukraine.
“The (G-7) leaders will discuss their broad shared economic, security and development agenda, and follow up on their March 24th discussion in The Hague on the situation in Ukraine,” said White House spokesman Jay Carney.
The president will also attend a June 6 commemoration of D-Day on the beaches of France.
“The President greatly appreciates the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families, and he looks forward to honoring them, along with the contributions of all the allies,” Carney said.
President Barack Obama will visit Poland, Belgium and France during a trip to Europe in June.
That’s according to Vice President Joe Biden. He’s announcing Obama’s itinerary during a speech to the Atlantic Council in Washington.
Biden says Obama will visit Poland for the 25th anniversary of the first democratic elections there.
Obama will also travel to Brussels for consultations with the Group of 7 leaders. That meeting was originally scheduled to take place in Sochi, Russia, under the Group of 8 banner, but was scrapped as G-7 leaders sought to isolate Russia for annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
Biden says Obama will also travel to France for the June 6 ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy.
President Obama’s most sweeping policy yet to address global warming — a new rule to cut carbon-dioxide emissions from coal and gas-fired power plants across the United States – will be announced by the The Environmental Protection Agency. The President will discuss the policy in on an off-camera conference call with health advocates. The President leaves for Poland on Monday night.
The President arrives in Warsaw, Poland on Tuesday morning. He will meet President Komorowski at the airport, and then they will have the opportunity to meet with some of the American and Polish airmen who are supporting the aviation mission that is based at Lask Air Force Base in Poland. Following that event the President will have a bilateral meeting at the Belweder Place with President Komorowski. Later in the afternoon, the President will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Tusk. That evening, the President will attend a Solidarity Dinner at the royal palace.
In the morning the President will hold a bilateral meeting with President-elect Poroshenko of Ukraine. Following that bilateral meeting, the President will go to the Royal Castle, where he will meet with other leaders attending the Freedom Day event. At the Royal Castle, the President will be one of the speakers who will give the speech commemorating the Day of Freedom. After that event, the President will fly to Brussels, Belgium. He will travel to the Royal Palace and have a meeting with King Philippe. Then he will attend the G7 summit. That night, the leaders will have a working dinner.
The President will attend G7 meetings on the global economy, and energy and climate issues. Following that, there will be a working lunch on development issues. In the afternoon, after the G7 Summit is concluded, the President will have a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Cameron of the United Kingdom. Then the President will travel to Paris, France. That night, he will have a private dinner with President Hollande before spending the night in Paris.
The President will travel to Normandy. He will deliver remarks at Omaha Beach for a French-American commemoration, D-Day ceremony at the Normandy American Cemetery Memorial. In the afternoon, the President will travel to Sword Beach, where he will attend a lunch hosted by President Hollande with the other leaders that the French have invited for the 70th anniversary commemorations. And then he will attend the international ceremony that the French are hosting with all the leaders of the various belligerent countries in World War II. After that, the President will depart France and come home to Washington, D.C. on Friday night.
From The New York Times:
With Ukraine Crisis Cooling, President Obama Sets Off to Soothe European Friends
WASHINGTON — President Obama leaves for Europe on Monday night cautiously optimistic that the crisis in Ukraine has turned a corner, but he will find himself face to face with President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia for the first time since the two squared off in a Cold-War-style showdown in Eastern Europe.
President Obama’s trip to Poland, Belgium and France comes just days after Ukraine elected a pro-European president and Mr. Putin pulled Russian troops back from the border. American and European officials hope the developments have begun to defuse the crisis, and say they have decided to hold off any new sanctions on Russia absent fresh provocative action by Moscow.
In his speech at West Point last week, President Obama cited Ukraine as a successful example of uniting the international community against a mutual threat. Susan E. Rice, his national security adviser, sounded a similar theme on Sunday.
“The United States, working with our European partners, has rallied to isolate and pressure Russia for its activities in Ukraine,” she said on “This Week,” an ABC News program. “That’s the kind of leadership that only the world’s greatest power can bring to bear.”
White House officials said the president would use the trip to meet with the new Ukrainian leader, Petro O. Poroshenko, and to reassure Central and Eastern European allies of American support against Russian aggression. He will consult with allies about next steps, including weaning Europe off Russian gas. But aides said Mr. Obama was not declaring victory in Ukraine.
“We believe that the situation continues to be a crisis,” said Benjamin J. Rhodes, a deputy national security adviser. “There are people dying on a regular basis in eastern and southern Ukraine, given the violence perpetrated and initiated by separatist factions there. So by no means are we out of the woods on Ukraine.”
President Obama arrives in Warsaw on Tuesday to meet not only with Polish leaders but also with leaders from throughout the region who will converge there. On Wednesday, he will meet with Mr. Poroshenko for the first time since his election and then address a public rally celebrating the 25th anniversary of the elections in Poland that signaled the eventual end of Communist rule.Later that day Mr. Obama will fly to Brussels, where he will meet that night and Thursday with counterparts from Britain, France, Germany, Italy, Canada and Japan in a reconstituted Group of 7. Their annual summit meeting was originally supposed to be hosted by Mr. Putin in Sochi, but Russia was suspended from the Group of 8 after the intervention in Ukraine.
If Mr. Putin is unwelcome in Brussels, however, he will be at President Obama’s next stop in Paris. President François Hollande of France plans to host Mr. Obama for dinner on Thursday and host Mr. Putin separately same evening. President Obama and Mr. Putin will both be at Normandy on Friday for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings. No meetings are scheduled, but aides did not rule out an unscripted conversation.
President Obama and the Europeans have struggled to stay together on sanctions, with the allies reluctant to jeopardize deeper economic ties with Russia and weary of confrontations beyond their borders. A survey by the Körber Foundation found that only 37 percent of Germans favor more involvement in international crises, compared with 62 percent in a comparable survey 20 years ago.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany is crucial to the coalition facing Russia. In an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published on Friday, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the foreign minister, called the Ukrainian election “a chance, but not a political solution to the conflict.”
British and French diplomats give President Obama high marks for handling the Ukraine crisis, although they said he came late to understanding the potential Russian threat. In Paris, officials anticipate tension between President Obama and Mr. Hollande over French plans to sell Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia.
Leaders in Poland and the Baltic republics hope President Obama promises additional forces beyond the relatively small deployments sent there in recent weeks. Polish leaders said they hoped President Obama would lay out a clear, unambiguous road map for dealing with a resurgent Russia.
“What we most need to hear from President Obama is what to do with Ukraine, how to deal with this new Russia,” said Aleksander Kwasniewski, the former president of Poland. “We are not interested in a confrontation with the Russians. We are not interested in Cold War II. But we will have a difficult time getting through the next four or five months without very clear and very determined American leadership.”
Poland has spent the last decade shifting focus from Washington to Berlin and Brussels, while nursing a raft of grievances and disappointments over what it saw as America’s inattention and insensitivity. Warsaw bristled when President Obama canceled his predecessor’s plans to station interceptors in Poland as part of a missile defense system. But a reformulated missile defense program approved by President Obama will include a site in Poland.
Bohdan Szklarski, president of the American Studies Center at the University of Warsaw, said that the trip was “an opportunity for President Obama” but that he should avoid empty words. “When he is going over his speech, President Obama should cross out the platitudes we always hear, unless they are accompanied by something concrete,” he said.
Polish leaders said President Obama’s trip vindicated their longstanding warnings about Russia. “The usual interpretation of the Polish position in the past has been, oh, it is these crazy Poles expressing their usual disdain for Russia,” said Aleksander Smolar, president of the Stefan Batory Foundation, which advocates civic engagement. “Now, however, people are taking the Polish position more seriously.”
Participate in the President’s Trip
Obama Schedule || Monday, June 2, 2014
All times Eastern Standard Time
10:00 AM: The President receives the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office.
10:45 AM: The President meets with senior advisors, the Oval Office.
12:45 PM: Press Secretary Jay Carny give the daily press briefing, the Brady Press Briefing Room.
2:00 PM: The President speaks on a conference call with public health groups about reducing carbon pollution from power plants, the Oval Office.
7:30 PM: The President departs White House for Warsaw, Poland. South Lawn & Joint Andrews Air Force Base.
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