Obama to visit Portugal in November

Barack Obama is to visit Portugal in November, according to television channel SIC.

The President of the United States will be in the country to participate in NATO’s General Assembly and is also expected to meet Prime Minister José Sócrates and President Aníbal Cavaco Silva.

The United States Embassy in Lisbon has yet to officially confirm the visit but analysts say that given the importance of the high-level meeting and NATO summit, it is highly probable that the President will come to Portugal.

The offices of the Prime Minister and President of the Republic also refused to deny or confirm the visit.

However, in other news from the United States pertaining to Portugal, the US Senate confirmed last week that it had appointed a new ambassador to Lisbon.

He is Allan Katz, a lawyer who, according to the Associated Press, was once a Tallahassee city commissioner.

Mr Katz is a Democrat and Barack Obama supporter, who helped run his Florida campaign.

The appointment was made by the Senate by unanimous consent and during his official swearing in in February, Mr Katz mentioned the close economic and military ties between Portugal and the United States.

The new ambassador also hinted that the Lajes Air Base on the island of Terceira in the Azores, which is currently home to the 700-strong United States Air Force 65th Air Base Wing, could have an important long-term role for future USAF missions. Chris Graeme