White House hopeful Mitt Romney is to visit Britain, meet with David Cameron and attend the Olympic opening ceremony this week as he embarks on a major diplomatic mission that will also take in Israel and Poland.
According to a preliminary schedule sent out Monday by Romney’s campaign, the candidate is set to meet with Cameron and top cabinet officials, as well as Labour’s Ed Miliband and ex-prime minister Tony Blair.
Romney also will attend the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics this Friday before weekend travel to Israel, where he meets with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu,
President Shimon Peres and opposition leaders, and gives a speech, apparently in Jerusalem.
Romney has recently been bruised by US President Barack Obama’s campaign attacks.
But the six-day overseas trip, his first since clinching the Republican Party’s nomination in April, will allow Romney to drill into Obama’s foreign policy, including the president’s stance on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and his withdrawal of plans for a missile defense system in Poland.
He will also hold talks with Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, according to Romney’s campaign.
On July 30 Romney heads to Poland, a key US ally in Eastern Europe, for talks with Prime Minister Donald Tusk and former president Lech Walesa, the anti-communist freedom icon who snubbed Obama, a fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate, in May 2011.
Poland could serve as a key platform from which Romney could hit out at Russia, a country the candidate has controversially labeled a key geopolitical foe.
Ex-communist Romania and Poland have agreed to host part of a revamped US missile shield, after a previous plan for Poland to host a bulkier missile and interceptor system was scaled back, in part when Russia deemed it a security threat.