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Official Visits

June 21, 2011 | By Katherine Skiba
First Lady Michelle Obama arrived in South Africa on Monday night as she launched an official visit that will see her embrace this nation's elders as she tries to inspire its young. Obama, who is spending the week in South Africa and neighboring Botswana, will give a keynote speech to young African female leaders Wednesday in Johannesburg. She is scheduled to meet with Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu, 79, but no meeting is currently scheduled with Nelson Mandela, 92, the country's first black president.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
February 20, 2010 | By Mitchell Landsberg
After pressing the case for Tibetan autonomy with President Obama in Washington, the Dalai Lama said Saturday that he is encouraged by what he sees as rising support for the Tibetan cause among Chinese intellectuals, although he said the Chinese government remains "hardened" against him. The spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism arrived in Los Angeles on Friday and planned to spend the weekend here in support of Whole Child International, a...
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.
January 22, 2010 | By Julian E. Barnes and Mark Magnier
Reporting from New Delhi and Islamabad Mark Magnier -- Using a mixture of praise and pressure, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates asked Pakistan government officials today to build on their offensives against militants at the same time he tried to reassure a skeptical Pakistani public about American aims in the region. On his first day of a visit to Pakistan, Gates announced the U.S. would provide unmanned aerial drones to the Pakistani military--a longstanding request of Islamabad that America has previously balked at. Defense officials said the U.S. would give Pakistan 12 Shadow UAVs, unarmed surveillance drones that can be used to spy on militants.
January 20, 2010 | By Julian E. Barnes
Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, moving to deepen U.S. ties to India as a key partner in a turbulent region, pushed Tuesday for expanded cooperation with New Delhi on issues ranging from military technology to cyber-security. Arriving for a two-day visit, Gates met with top Indian leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and S.M. Krishna, the foreign minister. The trip follows a visit by Singh to Washington in November, the first formal state visit hosted by President Obama.
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