Obama to Visit Volatile Europe
U.S. President Barack Obama embarks on a four-day trip to Europe this week. He leaves Washington Monday night for stops in Poland, Belgium and France.
The U.S. leader's trip to Europe comes at a time when Russia has made threatening moves on Ukraine. There is also deep uncertainty about Ukraine President-elect Petro Poroshenko's ability to stabilize his country. Mr. Obama will meet with Mr. Poroshenko in Poland.
President Obama will confer with U.S. allies Wednesday and Thursday in Brussels at a Group of Seven meeting that was quickly arranged after leaders decided to boycott a meeting Russia had been scheduled to host this week.
In France Friday, Mr. Obama will speak in Normandy at Omaha Beach for a ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the allied D-Day invasion against Nazi forces in World War Two.
Palestinians Set to Announce Unity Government as U.S., Israel Express Concern
Palestinian officials are expected to announce Monday the formation of a unity government between Fatah and Hamas, the two groups that have separately governed the West Bank and Gaza Strip for the past seven years.
The move follows an agreement they made in April for political cooperation.
The United States considers Hamas a terrorist organization, and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed concerns Sunday to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas about Hamas having a role in any Palestinian government.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Mr. Abbas assured the secretary that the government would commit to nonviolence and recognize Israel, and that Kerry said the U.S. would judge the body by its composition, policies and actions.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has urged world leaders not to recognize the Palestinian government, saying Sunday it will "strengthen terrorism" because Hamas calls for the destruction of Israel.