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Obama to visit Sweden in early September: PM's office

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

US President Barack Obama will visit Sweden in early September, the Swedish prime minister's office announced on Wednesday.

"On Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 September, US President Barack Obama will visit Sweden at the invitation of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt. It will be the first time an incumbent US president pays a bilateral visit to Sweden," the office said in a statement.

The announcement came shortly after Obama cancelled a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin that was due to be held around the same time, citing a lack of progress in relations and disappointment over the Edward Snowden affair.

"This will be a good opportunity to discuss political and economic developments in the world directly with President Obama, and an opportunity to present Sweden's views," Reinfeldt said in the statement.

"I am looking forward to talks about the conditions for trade, the need for reforms and the economic situation in Europe and the world," he added.

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt immediately hailed the upcoming visit as an "expression of genuinely good relations" between the two countries, in a tweet written in Swedish.

The only previous visit to Sweden by a sitting US president was in 2001 when George W. Bush took part in an EU summit in Gothenburg.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130807/obama-visit-sweden-early-september-pms-office-0