The Latest: Obama in Germany, 2nd leg of final foreign trip

AP News
Posted: Nov 16, 2016 12:05 PM
The Latest:  Obama in Germany, 2nd leg of final foreign trip

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — The Latest on President Barack Obama's final foreign tour as president (all times local):

6 p.m.

President Barack Obama has arrived in Germany, the second stop on his final foreign tour as president.

Air Force One touched down Wednesday evening in Berlin after a short flight from Greece. While in Germany, Obama plans to meet with Chancellor Angela Merkel. Obama has called Merkel one of his closest partners as president.

Obama will hold a joint news conference with Merkel on Thursday. He also plans to meet with leaders of key European countries including the U.K. and France.

After Germany, Obama will travel to Peru for the last stop on his trip.


4:05 p.m.

President Barack Obama has completed the first leg of his final foreign trip with Air Force One departing from the airport in Athens in route to Berlin.

Obama's three-nation visit began in Greece and included a press conference, state dinner, tour of the Acropolis and speech to the Greek people.

He has emphasized a message that pushes back against the forces of isolationism and calls for the benefits of technology and globalization to be more broadly shared.


2:55 p.m.

President Barack Obama is delivering a message to his fellow world leaders: "People have to know that they're being heard."

Obama says increasingly people feel disconnected from their government and institutions. He says globalization is feeding a rising "tribalism" and "nationalism" that breeds "suspicion" of institutions.

Obama is also defending the European Union, calling it one of the great achievements of human history.

But, as he wraps up his visit to Greece, Obama warns that world leaders must do more to make governments more effective and fight corruption in order to restore citizens' trust.


2:45 p.m.

President Barak Obama says that part of the effect of globalization and improving innovation has been an increase in feelings of inequality.

Speaking in Athens at the end of the first leg of his final foreign tour, Obama says the trend of improving technology had also led to "enormous disruptions" for many countries and communities, as technology and innovation lead to smaller workforces being used to produce goods.

Obama says the sight of some seemingly living by a different set of rules "feeds a profound sense of injustice and a feeling that our economies are increasingly unfair."

He says the ease of access to information globally can increase the sense of injustice and "this impulse to pull back from a globalized world is understandable."


2:35 p.m.

President Barack Obama says he and President-elect Donald Trump "could not be more different." But he says American democracy is bigger than any one person.

Obama is offering reassurances during a speech in Athens that "our future will be OK." He says that's as long as people retain faith in democracy and don't waver from democratic principles.

Obama assures that he'll work with Trump's team in the coming weeks on a smooth handover of power. He says "that's how democracy has to work."

Obama says free elections are critical because citizens need to choose their own leaders. He adds, "Even if your candidate doesn't always win."


2:30 p.m.

President Barack Obama says Greece's acceptance of refugees has "inspired the world" - but it cannot handle Europe's migration problems alone.

Speaking in Athens, Obama says "only a truly collective response by Europe and the world" can handle the hundreds of thousands of refugees fleeing violence in the Middle East.

A reluctance by many other European Union countries to host refugees has left more than 60,000 people stranded in Greece, many living in overcrowded camps dotted across the country.

Obama says Greece "cannot be expected to bear the burden alone."


2:25 p.m.

President Barack Obama says he's confident the U.S. commitment to the trans-Atlantic alliance will continue. He says that includes the U.S. pledge to defend all its NATO treaty allies.

Obama isn't mentioning President-elect Donald Trump by name but is alluding to his campaign comments suggesting the U.S. might not defend NATO allies who don't pay enough of the alliance's costs.

Obama says in a speech in Athens, Greece, that the alliance has been supported consistently by both Republican and Democratic administrations in the U.S. He says NATO is as ready as it has ever been to ensure collective security.

Greece is a member of NATO.


2:15 p.m.

President Barack Obama is opening a speech in Athens with a tribute to the birthplace of democracy.

Obama is citing a long list of ancient Greek statesmen and philosophers who crafted the notion that "we are citizens, not servants" and a "belief in equality before the law."

Obama is delivering what is likely his last major address abroad as president. He says over his eight years in office he still believe that people of all country share a desire to control their own lives and communities.

He says, "these yearnings are universal."


1: 20 p.m.

President Barack Obama is getting a crash course in Greek mythology and antiquity at the Acropolis Museum in Athens.

Obama is touring the museum after descending from the hilltop complex where he had lingered at the base of the Parthenon and glanced around at the panoramic view of Athens.

Obama is being escorted through the museum by its president, Professor Dimitrios Pandermalis. He says the marble busts and statues are "beautiful."


11:50 a.m.

President Barack Obama is getting an up-close look at the Acropolis, the famed ancient citadel in Athens.

Obama entered the complex through the Propylaea and walked along the Parthenon. The whole site is closed just for his visit.

The hilltop complex is considered a monument to free thoughts, artistic expression and architectural prowess.

The 5th Century B.C. Parthenon temple built by Ictinus is surrounded these days by scaffolding. From the hilltop, Obama could look out in nearly every direction at sprawling Athens.

A guide from Greece's Ministry of Culture is accompanying Obama on his tour.


11:30 a.m.

President Barack Obama is starting his final day in Greece with a tour of the Acropolis, the nation's most famous ancient monument.

The ancient site will remain closed to the public for the day to accommodate the president's visit.

Obama will also deliver a speech to the Greek people as he winds up the first leg of his final foreign tour as president and heads from Greece to Germany.

The president is expected to touch on both the country's efforts to emerge from its financial crisis, and on its role in dealing with hundreds of thousands of refugees who have crossed Greece's borders on their way to more prosperous European countries.

Obama's visit to Greece is the first official visit by a sitting U.S. president since Bill Clinton.