Obama completes first leg of final foreign trip

Of all the goodbyes President Obama must make on his final foreign trip as commander in chief, one of the hardest is likely to be his parting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

European governments, especially eastern countries close to Russia's orbit, have been shaken after Trump appeared to call into question Washington's near 70-year security guarantee by saying he would only help North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies if they paid their way.

Obama was on November 16 wrapping up the Greek leg of a farewell European trip with a visit to the Acropolis and an eagerly-awaited speech on democracy before heading to Berlin.

President Barack Obama is opening his first full day in Berlin by having lunch with U.S. Ambassador John Emerson.

So although Trump's election is being seen as a rejection of the political establishment and liberal democratic values in general, it represents a very personal blow to Merkel, Europe's most powerful leader.

President Obama said Wednesday that a global move toward isolationism illustrated by the election of Donald Trump can not succeed in an increasingly connected world.

Angela Merkel will run for a fourth term as German Chancellor, a senior member of her party has said.

His eight years in office have helped erase much of the anti-American sentiment that had grown during the administration of George W Bush over the Iraq war and other policies.

That friendship is part of the reason Obama made Germany, which he has already visited five times as president, the second stop on his global trip.

Although the relationship hit a bump in 2013 when it was revealed the US National Security Agency had been monitoring the chancellor's cell phone, tensions were smoothed over after Mr Obama acknowledged Germany's anger and promised new guidelines for monitoring.

In his last major address on the world stage, Mr. Obama told an audience in Athens, Greece, that inequality is causing voters in many countries to retreat from greater economic integration. After his victory last week, she offered only tepid congratulations, qualifying Berlin's continued cooperation with Washington on shared values.

"I think one will see that Mr Trump will have his own political suggestions, but that the US won't be a different country tomorrow".

Overall, the celebratory nature of Mr Obama's final world tour has been significantly tamped down in light of the United States election results.

His Berlin visit will last until 18 November and he is expected to meet other European Union leaders as well.

Despite the toll that 11 years of non-stop crisis fighting has taken on her, Merkel's aides say that Trump's victory and Britain's decision in June to leave the European Union have, if anything, reinforced her determination to continue. Greece was the entry point to Europe for hundreds of thousands of migrants past year.



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