Obama Shifts Focus To Europe

US President Barack Obama (3rd-L) meets with European Union Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso (4th-R), European Council president Herman Van Rompuy (3rd-R) and EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton (2nd-R) during the US-EU Summit at the European Headquarters in Brussels on March 26, 2014. Obama paid his first visit ever to the EU headquarters, cementing US-EU opposition to the takeover of Crimea after hitting out at Russian expansionism as a "sign of weakness." (Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Five years after the U.S. policy “Pivot To Asia,” President Obama and European leaders are focusing on the importance of U.S. – European ties.

The renewed emphasis on the transatlantic alliance comes after Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Speaking at a new conference this morning with President Obama, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barrosso said that Obama’s visit sends a strong signal of the “importance of the transatlantic alliance,” and assured President that, “you can count on us as your best allies.”

President Obama will speak from the Palais des Beaux – Arts in Brussels today, a venue which a White House official says will allow the President to highlight Europe’s role in the world.

NPR’s diplomacy correspondent Michele Kelemen joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss President Obama’s foreign policy goals in Europe.


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