[Ed. – We feel sure Trump isn’t trying to upstage Obama by attending the NATO summit at the same time as Germany’s anniversary commemoration of the Protestant Reformation. It does seem a little odd of the German planners to invite Obama to speak at that particular commemoration.]
Barack Obama is to visit Berlin on his first trip to Europe since leaving office. The former president will be in Germany on 25 May, the same day his successor, Donald Trump, is due in Brussels for a meeting of Nato leaders, in what is expected to be the incumbent US president’s first foreign trip since taking office.
Obama will travel to Germany for the launch of a summer of celebratory events organised by the Protestant church to mark its 500th anniversary.
Whether intentional or not, the simultaneous presence of both men on the same continent will serve to underline the difficulty many Europeans have had in dealing with the concept of Trump as US president, and the great deal of nostalgia that exists for the Obama era.
Obama is due to hold a speech in Berlin and to take part in a live discussion with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, titled “Actively shaping democracy – taking responsibility at home and abroad”. They will talk on a purpose-built stage in front of Berlin’s most prominent landmark, the Brandenburg Gate.