Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

President Obama to visit Sweden

President Barack Obama is coming to Sweden. The U.S President has cancelled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin due to the Edward Snowdon affair and instead will travel to Sweden next month, writes several media outlets in the States.

He will visit Sweden one day before the G20 summit to be held in St Petersburg in Russia on the 5th & 6th of September, but he will not have a one-on-one meeting with Putin there either.

News agency AP reports a top US official saying Sweden has been a close partner with the US on clean energy issues.

This will be the second time a serving US President makes an official visit to Sweden, but the first time a President has a purely bilateral meeting here. President George W. Bush visited Gothenburg in 2001 in conjunction with an EU summit in the city. His visit was met with protests.

In a statement Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt says:

"This is a good chance to discuss the political and economic developments in the world directly with President Obama, and a chance to put forward Swedish views. I am looking forward to discussions about the conditions for trade, the need for reform, and the economic situation in Europe and the world."

White House press officer Fernando Cutz told tabloid Expressen:

"Sweden is a close friend of the USA and plays a key role on the international stage", he told the newspaper, "Sweden will be an important ally in the USA and EUs transatlantic trade and investment co-operation, so the President will want to discuss that. He is always looking forward to talking about how we can improve clean technology and promote environmentally sustainable alternatives."

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt tells Swedish Radio News that the meeting had been planned for a while, but the cancellation of Obama's meeting with Putin meant the meeting could be brought forward.

No further details have yet been released on the President's itinerary in Sweden, nor whom he will meet.

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