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Topic - Heather Conley
President Barack Obama's complex relationship with Europe faces new challenges during a weeklong trip as he tries to persuade allied leaders to hold firm in efforts to punish Russia for its incursion into Ukraine.
There might be a worse time for President Obama to leave the U.S., or a worse destination for him than Russia, but at the moment it's hard to imagine an uglier combination of circumstances for presidential travel.
As President Obama prepares to host the NATO and Group of Eight international summits this weekend, there are increasing signs that the world is brushing him aside.
As President Obama prepares to play host to a doubleheader of global diplomacy at the Group of Eight and NATO summits this weekend, there are increasing signs that the world is tuning out his message.
In a rare global summit where the U.S. leader is not the center of attention, President Obama leaves Wednesday evening for the Group of 20 summit in Cannes, France, with a diminished international presence and an economic-growth message being drowned out by the scramble to deal with Europe's unresolved debt crisis.
"They know the president can't stand sitting in these meetings," Conley said of EU leaders. "They got that message very clearly."
"There's an anger there, there's a frustration there," said Heather Conley, a Europe expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.