Romney Heads to England, Israel, Poland: Meeting Cameron, Kenny, Netanyahu, Walesa & More

Governor Mitt Romney is going overseas…

On Tuesday, after delivering a speech in Reno, Nevada to the Veterans of Foreign Wars at their annual conference, Romney will embark on a six-day, full schedule, listening tour to England, Israel, and Poland:

The presumptive Republican nominee and former Massachusetts governor will meet with the leaders of all three countries, other government officials, opposition leaders, and at least one U.S. ambassador. He plans to attend the opening ceremony of the Olympics, visit sites of historical significance, and hold public events in at least two of the countries.

Aides say Romney does not view the trip as an opportunity to roll out any new policy proposals. “This trip is an opportunity for the governor to listen and learn, to visit countries that share common values, common interests, and I should say in many cases shared heritage with people here in the United States,” Romney’s policy director, Lanhee Chen, told reporters in a conference call previewing the trip.

… While Romney is likely to highlight differences in his approach to international relations relative to Obama, he is expected to refrain from attacking Obama while traveling abroad.

A preview of The Gov’s itinerary…

England

The Olympic rings are lit up on Tower Bridge in preparation for the start of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. The Opening Ceremony takes place Friday, July 27, 2012.

Thursday, July 26, 2012:

Governor Romney will meet with British leaders including, Prime Minister David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband, Foreign Secretary William Hague, and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.

Friday, July 27, 2012:

Romney will meet with Irish Taoiseach Enda Kenny.

Later, he’ll meet with U.S. Olympic athletes and attend the 2012 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremonies. USA! USA! USA! (We know the strong passion The Gov has for the Olympics – the spirit of competition – and for the capacity of the games to inspire unity, mutual understanding, and respect across the world. Romney is known for his turnaround of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City, Utah.) Also, if schedules can be coordinated, he may try to meet with other world leaders who are in London for the Olympics.

Israel

The gleam from the Dome of the Rock reflects the afternoon sun in Jerusalem, Israel. Among the Israeli leaders meeting with Mitt Romney will be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Sunday, July 29, 2012:

Romney has been to Israel three times in the past, on a family visit in the late 1990s and, in 2007 and 2011, on fact-finding trips focused on security and economic issues.

On this trip, he’ll meet first with Daniel Shapiro, the U.S. Ambassador to Israel, who will give him a briefing. Romney will also meet with Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres, and will also sit down with Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad. He has met them all on previous trips.

While aides say Romney will not specifically criticize the president’s Middle East policy while he is in Israel, he will continue to make the case for standing with Israel – as he often does on the campaign trail. “America needs to stand by its allies, particularly allies that are under siege like Israel, particularly democratic allies who have such a shared history and shared values with America” Dan Senor, a special adviser on foreign policy, told reporters in previewing Romney’s message.

In an op-ed written yesterday, former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman (GOP) shares the following:

By sheer coincidence, Romney is an old and personal friend of Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Romney’s first job after finishing up at Harvard was at the Boston Consulting Group, and Netanyahu was working there at the time and sat in an office down the hall. The two struck up a friendship and have remained close. If Romney were to become president, it would be an extraordinary chapter in U.S.-Israeli relations.

“There is little precedent,” The New York Times wrote recently, “for two politicians of their stature to have such a history together that predates their entry into government.”

Certainly Israel could use a close friend in the White House these days.

Over the last three years, however, the U.S.-Israeli relationship has been troubled.

President Obama does not seem to have personal affection for the Jewish state. He has publicly castigated Israel, including at the United Nations. He was caught on a hot microphone denigrating Israel’s prime minister, and when Netanyahu came to Washington he received him with marked coolness, neglecting to hold the customary joint news conference before asking the Israeli leader to exit through a rear door.

Romney will also deliver remarks while in Israel.

Poland

The skyline over Gdansk, Poland turns a rosy hue at dusk. Governor Romney will meet with Poland’s former President Lech Walesa in the port city.

Monday, July 30, 2012:

Romney’s final destination is Poland, where he will meet with the current leadership, including President Bronislaw Komorowski, Prime Minister Donald Tusk, and Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski. Romney will also meet with Lech Walesa, the former Polish president and winner of the 1983 Nobel Peace Prize. Walesa, who was president from 1990 to 1995 and oversaw Poland’s transition out of communism, was the one who invited Romney to visit his country.

Ian Brzezinski, another Romney adviser, said the visit to Poland will highlight an important alliance that is “rich in history” — from Polish support for the American revolution all the way through Iraq and Afghanistan, where the country has sent troops to assist in the U.S.-led war efforts. Romney will also point to country’s economic success, which he will say stems from free market principles and capitalism – the themes he pushes on the campaign trail at home.

“This is a country that stands in sharp contrast economically to the rest of Europe where economies are dropping by about 5% or more,” Brzezinski told reporters.

Romney will also deliver remarks and visit historical sights in Poland. The ‘Lech Walesa Institute’ said in a statement that Governor Romney is visiting Poland by special invitation, issued to him at the beginning of the month, by President Walesa:

Poland and Poles are paying close attention to the election campaign in the United States, focused on choosing a leader for the American nation for the next four years,” Walesa wrote in the invitation dated July 4.

Their choice will influence the fate of America and the world.

Walesa refused to meet with Obama last year, saying “It doesn’t suit me.”

Romney’s invitation from freedom-fighter Walesa is, indeed, a high honor.

This will be a memorable week for Mitt and Ann as they find themselves in the international spotlight. It’s another opportunity for world leaders and the good people in England, Israel, and Poland to see that the USA has an opportunity, through Mitt Romney, to elect a strong, seasoned statesman who will once again respect our allies, strengthen our partnerships, and instill renewed confidence in the mighty cause of freedom.

To Mitt and Ann, Godspeed!

Follow Jayde Wyatt on Twitter @YayforSummer

Romney’s Statement on Death of Vaclav Havel, Fmr Pres Czech Republic

Mourners gather to remember Vaclav Havel in Wenceslas Square, Prague. Dec 18, 2011

We’ve learned that Vaclav Havel, the first President of the Czech Republic (1993 – 2003) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Il have died.

The deaths of these two world figures couldn’t be more striking. One, a non-violent freedom fighter, lived to champion human rights, end repression, and led the bloodless revolution in 1989 to abolish communism in Czechoslovakia. The other, a brutal, repressive, nuclear-menacing communist dictator, ruled his starving, impoverished nation with an iron fist (human rights doesn’t exist, few N. Koreans have modern amenities – refrigerators, stoves, telephones and even access to plain, ordinary writing paper for citizens is severely restricted).

While the media is focused on the Dear Leader’s passing and the uncertainty surrounding the transfer of power in N. Korea, I want to share a few tributes from around the world for Vaclav Havel.

Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney:

VACLAV HAVEL INSPIRED FREEDOM’S ALLIES

“In the darkest days of tyranny, Vaclav Havel shined a light on the injustices and contradictions of communism. The power of his words and the depth of his courage inspired freedom’s allies in his homeland and around the world. The Velvet Revolution he led changed the course of history, and helped bring to an end an empire of oppression. He will be remembered as one of history’s great men: the scourge of tyrants and a champion for liberty.”

Former U.S. President George W. Bush:

“The most subversive act of the playwright from Prague was telling the truth about tyranny. And when that truth finally triumphed, the people elected this dignified, charming, humble, determined man to lead their country. Unintimidated by threats, unchanged by political power, Vaclav Havel suffered much in the cause of freedom and became one of its greatest heroes.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu:

“Havel was a brave and powerful voice against totalitarianism and an inspiration for dissidents everywhere struggling for freedom.”

Solidarity founder and Poland’s former president Lech Walesa:

“A great fighter for the freedom of nations and for democracy has died . . . His outstanding voice of wisdom will be missed in Europe, which is going through a serious crisis. I am praying for the peace of his soul.”

British Prime Minister David Cameron:

“No one of my generation will ever forget those powerful scenes from Wenceslas Square two decades ago. Havel led the Czech people out of tyranny. And he helped bring freedom and democracy to our entire continent. Europe owes Vaclav Havel a profound debt. Today his voice has fallen silent. But his example and the cause to which he devoted his life will live on.”

President Barack Obama:

“His peaceful resistance shook the foundations of an empire, exposed the emptiness of a repressive ideology, and proved that moral leadership is more powerful than any weapon. … He also embodied the aspirations of half a continent that had been cut off by the Iron Curtain, and helped unleash tides of history that led to a united and democratic Europe.”

Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush:

“Barbara and I join in mourning the death of Vaclav Havel, a gentle soul whose fierce devotion to the rights of man helped his countrymen cast aside the chains of tyranny and claim their rightful place among the free nations of world. His personal courage throughout that twilight struggle inspired millions around the world, including those of us who worked with him during a historic period of transformation for Europe.”

Read additional tributes here.

Freedom’s light burns brighter because of Vaclav Havel.

Rest in peace.

Vaclav Havel
October 6, 1936 - December 18, 2011



► Jayde Wyatt