Pivot to Asia means strate­gic shift from At­lantic to Pa­cific Obama to make last visit to Europe

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

WASH­ING­TON—US Pres­i­dent Barack Obama will visit Poland and Spain in July, in what will likely be his fi­nal pres­i­den­tial trip to Europe, a con­ti­nent that has of­ten pre­sented more prob­lems than op­por­tu­ni­ties dur­ing his term. The White House said that Obama will travel to War­saw on July 7-9 for “his fifth and fi­nal sum­mit with NATO lead­ers,” be­fore go­ing on his first trip to Spain.

Dur­ing his nearly eight years in of­fice, Obama has at times had dif­fi­cult re­la­tion­ships with Amer­ica’s old­est al­lies.

For most of his first term, Europe was frus­trat­ingly slow to con­tain sovereign debt crises that were fed by and pro­longed the Great Re­ces­sion. Re­la­tions with Europe were fur­ther tested by Obama’s “pivot to Asia” — which was widely per­ceived as cap­ping a decades-long strate­gic shift from the At­lantic to the Pa­cific.

Obama has pub­licly said that it was a mis­take to de­pend on Euro­pean al­lies to man­age Libya’s po­lit­i­cal re­cov­ery from decades of Muam­mar Qaddafi’s dic­ta­to­rial rule.

Five years af­ter Qaddafi was killed, the coun­try is still in tur­moil and is now a base for ISIS.

NATO lead­ers are ex­pected to dis­cuss sup­port for ef­forts to con­trol the flow of mi­grants across the Mediter­ranean.

They will also weigh NATO sup­port for op­er­a­tions against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, pro­vid­ing cover for AWACS early warn­ing and con­trol air­craft to be de­ployed.—Agen­cies

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