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Monday, May 23, 2011

President and First Lady Go To Ireland. Other European Stops Planned

President and Mrs. Obama leaving the White House last evening, boarding Marine 1 to Andrews AFB. 
Photo/CD Brown.
The President and First Lady left the White House last evening on route to their visit to Europe where it is expected the two will make several stops in their travel that includes Ireland (where the President has lineage).  The first event will be a meeting between the President and the First Lady, with President McAleese and her husband.  This meeting will serve as an opportunity to discuss both bilateral issues with President McAleese and also to honor her extraordinary legacy of serving the people of Ireland and advancing peace in Northern Ireland.

Then the President will travel to Moneygall, Ireland, which is the town in Ireland from which the President’s ancestors came.  Later, the president will return to Dublin, where he’ll deliver remarks at a public event about the ties between the United States and Ireland.

Schedule for the rest of the week.

On Tuesday, the 24th, the President and First Lady will travel to London, England. This is a state visit. Following the arrival ceremony at Buckingham Palace, the President and the First Lady will have lunch with Her Majesty the Queen and the two U.S. and U.K. delegations. In the afternoon, the President will visit Westminster Abbey for a range of events associated with the state visit, including a wreath-laying ceremony there. In the evening, the President and the First Lady will attend a dinner at Buckingham Palace.

On Wednesday, the 25th, the President will have a full bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Cameron where the two are expected to discuss, among many items including: Afghanistan, counterterrorism, Iran, Libya, the global economy. The President and the Prime Minister will attend an event that’s being hosted by Mrs. Cameron and the First Lady to honor both military families, U.S. and U.K. service members and veterans. (Over the last several years, the United Kingdom has served alongside the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan).  Afterwards, the two leaders will hold a joint press conference. Following the press conference, the President will deliver a speech to the U.K. Parliament. Following the speech to Parliament, the President will reciprocate the hospitality of the Queen and he will hold a dinner in her honor at Winfield House, which is the residence of the American ambassador in London.

Thursday, May 26, the President will travel from London to Deauville, France. The President is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with President Medvedev of Russia where the two will likely continue talks an the New START treaty, cooperation on nuclear security, cooperation with regard to Iran sanctions, and nonproliferation as well as Russia’s increased cooperation with NATO.  Following the bilateral meeting with Russia, he will enter into the G-8 meeting.

Friday, May 27th -- The President is expected to have a bilateral meeting with President Sarkozy of France to discuss a full range of issues  The president will attend G-8 meetings where it is expected that the Prime Minister Kan of Japan will be in attendance.  The United States has provided substantial support the Japanese both in terms of the provision of certain types of assistance. The U.S. military has helped get assistance to the people of Japan when they were in need following the tsunami. The U.S. has also provided advice and technical cooperation surrounding the nuclear challenges that they face.

In the evening the President will arrive in Poland.  Poland is one of our key allies in Eastern and Central Europe, which has been a focal point of the President to strengthen European security during his term in office. The U.S. also has deep and longstanding ties with the Polish people. The two Presidents will host a dinner for the heads of state of Central and Eastern Europe where he is likely to consult broadly with U.S. and Central and Eastern European

On Saturday, May 28th, the President will have a bilateral meeting in the morning with President Komorowski of Poland. This will be an opportunity to discuss the bilateral agenda with the Poles that includes issues related to NATO, European security, economic cooperation, and democracy.  Later that day, the President will go into a working lunch and bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Tusk.  Following the lunch, the President and the Prime Minister will hold a joint press conference.

The President will return to Washington later that evening.

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We're already reading about the President's arrival in Ireland today from our traveling poolers.  Here's a feed:

Along the street, the president Obama accepted kisses from more than a handful of residents, and stretched his arms across rows of the crowd to shake hands.At 3:45 pm, he and the First Lady walked into Ollie Hayes bar to cheers. He stood in a corner shaking hands with a small group.

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Hear's feed from the President's visit to a local pub.  Bits that could be overheard:

"You look a little like my grandfather," Obama said to one man."We may be related to him as well. I'll have to check it out when I get back." "What's your name?" "We got to get a good picture with everybody. Michelle squeeze in here." "We got a family tree here and everything."

In brief remarks to the bar crowd of several dozen, Obama said:

"What a thrill it is to be here.""There are millions of Irish Americans who trace their ancestry back to this island."At the conclusion, he said: "And with that let me have a pint."

"Yes we can!" one man yelled.
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We will continue to update you during the President's week long trip.  Starting with photos of the First Couple here.

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