Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Obama's 2016 world tour

Edward-Isaac Dovere,

The president is planning to travel the globe to seal his foreign policy legacy.

Image from article, with caption: The only continents the White House is ruling out as presidential destinations are Australia and Antarctica.

Obama has asked aides to set a busy international travel schedule for him in his final year, with “half a dozen” trips already in the works and more potentially coming together. ...
Aides say Cuba wouldn’t be a one-off destination,but more likely combined with a longer trip to several Central and South American countries. ... The working peace deal that Colombia signed in September with the FARC revolutionary forces — mediated with the help of Cuban President Raúl Castro — has also caught the White House’s eye, and an encouraging trip there to demonstrate the support of the U.S. is exactly the kind of stop that would fit in with the public diplomacy sensibility. ...
The Iran nuclear deal and Paris climate agreement, both major successes for the administration on paper, probably won’t matter much unless Obama works hard to make them more concrete before the next president’s sworn in.
“On those two issues — and Cuba as well — the administration will have to use its remaining time to protect the accomplishments from fizzling out or worse,” said Strobe Talbott, president of the Brookings Institution and chairman of the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. “That’ll take a lot of steady, blocking-and-tackling follow-up diplomacy — including public diplomacy — to maintain such support as the deals have.” ...

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