In Europe, Mideast, Obama offers allies assurances

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RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — From the heart of Europe to the expanse of Saudi Arabia’s desert, President Barack Obama’s weeklong overseas trip amounted to a reassurance tour for stalwart, but sometimes skeptical, American allies.

At a time when Obama is grappling with crises and conflict in both Europe and the Middle East, the four-country swing also served as a reminder that even those longtime partners still need some personal attention from the president.

Obama departed for Washington Saturday with much left unresolved in the West’s dispute with Russia and Saudi Arabia’s concerns with U.S. positioning in the Mideast. Still, officials said the president had made progress during his pilgrimage to Saudi King Abdullah’s desert oasis, as well as in his hours of conversations with European leaders.

Associated Press

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