(WASHINGTON) — It’s official: President Obama will be logging some serious frequent flier miles on Air Force One between now and the end of the year, jetting overseas in coming weeks to three continents, and perhaps a fourth before 2014 is over.
By ABC News’ back-of-the-envelope calculations, he will log more than 38,000 air miles — give or take a few hundred — on these foreign trips alone.
This Wednesday is the North American leaders annual summit for the U.S., Canada and Mexico. It takes place in Toluca, outside Mexico City.
A month from now the president jets to Europe for nuclear security talks in Holland, a summit in Belgium, an audience with Pope Francis at the Vatican, and finally to the Middle East for a short call on the king of Saudi Arabia.
Throughout his presidency, Obama has been trying to “re-balance” (his word) U.S. foreign policy away from pre-occupation with the Mideast and Europe and toward Asia.
In late April President Obama will make good on stops in Asia cancelled during the government shutdown last fall when he heads to the Philippines and Malaysia — both emerging markets. He will also go to both Japan and South Korea where Secretary of State John Kerry recently traveled to get those two economic powerhouses to stop quarreling.
China is not on the schedule, although there are more unconfirmed travel opportunities later in the year: The APEC summit near Beijing and the G-20 in Brisbane, Australia are both in November. NATO convenes in Wales in September and Sochi — but not for a gold medal competition. Sochi is where Russia hosts the annual G-8 summit in June.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Tom LoBianco, CNN
Mike Price, EastIdahoNews.com
Scott Stuntz, Teton Valley News
Nate Sunderland, EastIdahoNews.com