- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 14, 2016

President Obama will deliver a major foreign-policy speech in Germany later this month that’s shaping up to be one of his last big moments in the global spotlight.

The president’s speech in Hannover, Germany, on April 25 will be an opportunity to “review what we’ve done over the course of the last seven-and-a-half years of his presidency, and look ahead to what we should be doing going forward,” said White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

Nearly eight years ago, Mr. Obama burst onto the world stage with a speech in Berlin, Germany, to a crowd of about 200,000 — before he was elected president. He was criticized by some back home who likened it to a rock-star appearance (there were also rock bands giving a free performance at the event).

Nowadays, not all Germans are feeling as warmly about the president, after revelations that the U.S. spied on officials in the German government, including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Mr. Rhodes said the speech will allow Mr. Obama “to step back at a time when the United States and Europe together are dealing with a range of challenges from countering [the Islamic State] and the threat of terrorism to the current refugee crisis.”

Germany has been more open than some other nations in accepting Syrian refugees, but the move has caused enormous social friction and created political peril for Mrs. Merkel. Mr. Obama has been battling Congress and governors of both parties over his plan to accept up to 10,000 Syrian refugees in the U.S. this year.

While in Germany, the president also will attend the Hannover Messe, a major trade show for industrial technology.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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