April 1, 2009 in Nation/World

Obama set to rebuild relations in Europe

Trip to London features meeting with Medvedev
Michael D. Shear And Mary Jordan Washington Post
Associated Press photo

President Barack Obama is greeted by Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling in London on Tuesday. At center is Charge d’Affaires Richard LeBaron.
(Full-size photo)

LONDON – In their first face-to-face meeting, President Obama and Russian President Dimitri Medvedev are expected to announce agreement today on a broad statement of principles for cooperation between the two nations aimed at easing an increasingly strained relationship.

Obama left the United States on Tuesday morning, bound for a series of meetings with European leaders aimed at restoring health to the global economy, confronting terrorism in Afghanistan and Pakistan and repairing American relations with its allies abroad.

He arrived here late Tuesday evening with first lady Michelle Obama. A political superstar among Europeans, he nonetheless was met by protesters throughout the city, some of whom blame American irresponsibility for sparking the financial crisis gripping the globe.

British police began assembling a massive presence of officers on the streets of London to provide security for Obama and other national leaders attending the G-20 economic summit here on Thursday, and to guard against problems at a vast array of planned protests.

The direct dialogue with Medvedev, scheduled for midday in London, is a key piece of Obama’s promise for a new brand of diplomacy following a period of heightened tensions between the U.S. and Europe under his predecessor.

The two leaders are expected to announce talks on a new agreement to reduce quantities of nuclear weapons. But U.S. officials described a separate statement from the two leaders as far more wide-ranging, indicating a thawing of relations between the countries on a host of issues.

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