Obama arrives in Brussels for EU-US summit

25th March 2014, Comments 0 comments

President Barack Obama arrived Tuesday in Brussels for his first visit to European Union headquarters, where he is expected to cement US-EU opposition to Russia's takeover of Crimea and accelerate mega trade talks.

Air Force One flew in to the Belgian capital from The Hague, where Obama took part in a G7 meeting on Ukraine and a nuclear security summit earlier in the day.

Belgium's King Philippe and Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo welcomed Obama at the airport before he was whisked off in an armoured limousine.

Viewed as the most important trip to Europe by a US president in years because of the Crimea crisis, Obama will hold his first-ever summit talks in Brussels with the EU's top officials Wednesday, a move seen as an ice-breaker.

He will also meet NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and give a speech on transatlantic relations.

Obama will spend less than 24 hours in Belgium, including a helicopter trip to an American World War I cemetery in Flanders.

He leaves Wednesday evening for Italy and the Vatican, where he will meet Pope Francis, then heads to Saudi Arabia.

© 2014 AFP

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