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View Full Version : Barack Obama Rejects Normandy Trip To Avoid Offending Germany [Is Your Blood Boiling?



megimoo
04-08-2009, 12:45 AM
Barack Obama, concerned about offending Britain and Germany, rebuffed strenuous attempts by President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to persuade the new American president to make a trip to Normandy this week.


White House officials travelled to France at the start of March to discuss a visit by Mr Obama to Omaha Beach, the site of the American Cemetery, established in 1944 just after D-Day and where 9,387 American personnel are buried. Among them is Theodore Roosevelt Jr the eldest son of the 26th US President.

French officials and senior American military officers walked with White House staff through the cemetery discussing how the two presidents might follow the same route. But even before their trip, the White House had decided that Mr Obama would not travel there this week.

This grand plan will not shorten our dole queue "It wasn't going to happen," said an American official in Washington. "We went through the motions to placate President Sarkozy but giving special treatment to France was not on our agenda.

"During this trip, we wanted to maintain a balance between the British, German and France". A White House spokesman in London declined to comment. Last month, White House officials briefed that a Normandy visit had been considered but it had not been logistically possible.

Mr Obama will arrive in Strasbourg on Friday for the Nato summit. He will hold a meeting with Mr Sarkozy and a brief press appearance in Strasbourg and then fly to Baden-Baden to do exactly the same with Chancellor Merkel of Germany. He will then fly to Prague on Saturday.

Mr Sarkozy is said by French officials to be piqued that Gordon Brown became the first European leader to meet Mr Obama and was then lavished with praise by him at a 50-minute joint press conference in London on Wednesday.

The French president tried unsuccessfully to meet Mr Obama before he was sworn in after the G20 summit in Washington last November, even stationing a French military plane on 24-hour standby nearby to whisk him to Chicago should the then US president-elect change his mind.





http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/5096803/Barack-Obama-rejects-Normandy-trip-to-avoid-offending-Germany.html