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When world leaders wrap up their G-20 talks in Seoul on Friday, the European and American contingent will have less than a week to sleep in their own beds before they head off again to another round of summitting, back-to-back NATO and EU-US gatherings in Lisbon next week.
Although there is lots of substance on the agenda – Afghanistan, missile defence, global economic stagnation – the atmospherics of the events will also be closely watched, particularly since President Barack Obama skipped out on May’s EU-US summit, causing much hand-wringing in Brussels and other European capitals.
U.S. officials are acutely aware of the narrative developing on this side of the ocean since the cancelled Madrid summit: that Mr Obama, despite coming into office amidst a surge of European popularity, is now seen as neglecting his transatlantic allies and showering attention instead on leaders elsewhere in the world. This week, those U.S. officials are fanning out to combat that narrative. Read more
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