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Official Visits

NEWS
June 7, 2011 | By Christi Parsons, Washington Bureau
President Obama will publicly honor the German chancellor during an elaborate official visit to the White House on Tuesday, but behind closed doors he is expected to press her to step up Germany’s involvement in the international response to unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. Obama will present Chancellor Angela Merkel with the Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest honor for civilians, while First Lady Michelle Obama plans an event highlighting the importance of women in diplomacy.
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WORLD
May 25, 2011 | By Henry Chu, Los Angeles Times
The pomp is the same, but the circumstance is different. President Obama's state visit to Britain, which kicked into high gear Tuesday, is only the second by an American leader during the 59-year reign of his host, Queen Elizabeth II. The first took place in 2003, when she received President George W. Bush at Buckingham Palace. Back then, thousands of angry protesters greeted Bush and jeered at his close relationship with Prime Minister Tony Blair, because of their united stand over the invasion of Iraq.
WORLD
November 28, 2010 | By Borzou Daragahi, Los Angeles Times
Lebanon's prime minister kicked off a three-day visit to Iran on Saturday meant to strengthen economic and political bonds between the United States' chief regional adversary and a nation Washington once upheld as a model for Western-leaning Arab democracy. The first official visit to Iran by Prime Minister Saad Hariri comes as sectarian tensions within Lebanon simmer. An international tribunal is expected to indict members of the Iranian-backed Shiite Muslim militia Hezbollah in the 2005 assassination of his father, former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a Sunni Muslim.
WORLD
May 19, 2010 | Peter Nicholas
Mexican President Felipe Calderon is expected to air strong objections to U.S. immigration policies during a two-day visit that opens Wednesday with a private Oval Office meeting with President Obama. Calderon will protest the strict new anti-immigration law enacted in Arizona. And he is likely to urge a far-reaching overhaul of the U.S. immigration system to give the estimated 11 million people living illegally in the United States a chance to gain legal status, officials said.
WORLD
March 29, 2010 | By Laura King and Julian E. Barnes
President Obama flew to Afghanistan's capital Sunday evening and offered a tough message to President Hamid Karzai, urging that stronger action be taken to crack down on government corruption and to build respect for the rule of law. Later in his six-hour unannounced visit, his first to the war-battered country since becoming president, Obama received a rousing welcome from American troops at the sprawling Bagram air base outside Kabul. As midnight approached, camouflage-clad service members whooped and snapped pictures of the president, who dispensed hugs and handshakes before taking to the podium.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 4, 2010 | By Louis Sahagun
The regional director of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ventured into the dusty farming town of Kettleman City, Calif., on Wednesday for a three-hour tour that included a trip to a nearby toxic waste dump and emotional private meetings with mothers whose babies had birth defects. The rare diplomatic foray by Jared Blumenfeld came less than a week after he ordered an internal investigation of his agency's oversight of the waste dump and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger directed the state Department of Public Health to conduct a comprehensive study of the community's environmental and health issues.
WORLD
November 24, 2009 | By Mark Magnier
Today's summit between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India and President Obama is laden with symbols. It will be the first official visit that Obama hosts. There will be much language on the importance of the relationship and the links between the two major democracies. Beneath the surface, however, simmers some insecurity. India enjoyed excellent relations with the U.S. under the Bush administration and it still isn't quite sure where it stands with the new team. It feels a little taken for granted.
NATIONAL
November 23, 2009 | By Katherine Skiba
What's the hottest ticket in the nation's capital? An engraved invitation to Tuesday's White House state dinner, the first hosted by President Obama. He and the first lady will honor India's prime minister. But in a departure from the traditional venue -- the elegant State Dining Room -- the Obamas will gather with a few hundred VIPs in a huge, heated tent on the South Lawn. The guest list for the black-tie gala remains a closely guarded secret. Vice President Joe Biden and his wife, Jill, will certainly be there.
WORLD
November 15, 2009 | By Peter Nicholas
President Obama told Chinese students today that the U.S. does not wish to contain China's rise, but also offered a gentle critique of their country's approach to human rights. "We welcome China as a strong and prosperous and successful member of the community of nations," Obama said at the start of a town hall-style meeting in Shanghai as he began the China leg of his tour of Asia. Obama acknowledged that the United States has struggled with race relations over the course of its history, but he said America would "always speak out" in favor of free expression, worship, political participation and access to information -- which he termed "universal rights."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 14, 2009 | Michael Rothfeld
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is stopping in Jerusalem to participate in a moderated conversation at a Middle East policy conference Sunday before heading to Iraq next week, an aide said Friday. Schwarzenegger will speak at a forum sponsored by the Saban Center for Middle East Policy, which former President Clinton, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, are scheduled to attend. The policy group, which is affiliated with the Brookings Institution, was endowed with the help of entertainment mogul Haim Saban, who is close to Schwarzenegger and has donated to his political causes.
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