Barack Obama had quite a journey last week, but he was not the only person making international headlines. Here's a quick reminder of what was a busy week in international politics.
U.S. President Obama's visit to Europe marked the first part of the week. His trip was scrutinised by the world media, and surely aware of that, Mr Obama made the most of it. Last Sunday, the President kick started his tour with a visit to Ireland. He dropped by Dublin before heading to the small village of Moneygall where one of his ancestors comes from. While at the village he spoke to the inhabitants and even headed down to the pub where he was photographed drinking a Guinness.
Fun was also apparently on top of the list when he moved on to the United Kingdom and was welcomed by the Queen as he stayed at Buckingham Palace. Hosting dinners, playing table tennis with British Prime Minister David Cameron and flipping burgers during a barbecue in 10 Downing Street's, the visit confirmed that being a world leader is really a tough job. Joking apart, Mr Cameron and Mr Obama also held a joint press conference in order to reassure us that they did in fact do some work. They both answered questions ranging from the economy, Afghanistan, Libya and the Middle East. While the visit was criticised by many as being a marketing publicity stunt, both the British and the American leaders seized the occasion to emphasise the "special relationship" that both countries share.
On May 26 and 27 both leaders then headed to Deauville, in France, where President Nicholas Sarkozy presided the G8 summit. While anti-G8 supporters voiced their grievances in the street, the group of eight was also criticised for being irrelevant as new important international players such as China and India remain excluded. The summit was the occasion for leaders to discuss the Internet, the Middle East and North Africa and the economic situation in Europe. While Mr Sarkozy pushed for tougher regulation of the Internet, Facebook owner Mark Zuckenberg counter-argued the proposition. Also, as the legitimacy of the Nato-led operation in Libya is becoming more controversial as bombings increase, the coalitio countries and Russia agreed to work on the need to conclude a cease fire. Russia will thus be in charge of trying to find a compromise between the rebels and the Gaddafi regime.
Russian President Medvedev nonetheless insisted on the need for Gaddafi to step out of power. However while talks for the need to establish a cease fire were taking place, France and the UK both announced they will deploy Apache helicopters to Libya in order to boost the operation. Is the ceasefire plan then just an attempt to qualm critics while the coalition still focuses on bombardments and perhaps considers ground troops?
G8 countries also announced a £22bn pledge to Egypt and Tunisia in an attempt to support new pro-democratic regimes in the region.
While Mr Obama was in Europe, Mr Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister visited the American congress. During his address he reaffirmed his government's position on the conflict with Palestinians. He insisted his administration sees the 1967 borders proposition as threatening Israel's security as it would only provide borders that would be indefensible. He assured he will not bulge under diplomatic pressure.
On Thursday, Ratko Mladic was finally arrested in Serbia after being a fugitive for more than fifteen years. Mr Mladic is indicted on charges of war crimes as he is understood to be the man in charge of the Serbian army during the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. He is now due to be turned to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague on Monday or Tuesday. However in Serbia Mladic is still seen as a hero by a large part of the population and today demonstrations of support for him were held in his village. The arrest came after the country had been heavily criticised for its failure to finds Mladic, with some suggesting Serbian authorities have long known where Mr Mladic was located. Either way his arrest removes one of the last major obstacles preventing Serbia from joining the European Union.
On Friday, US secretary of state Hillary Clinton made an unannounced visit to Pakistan. Her trip came as relationship between the two countries tensed up somewhat thanks to the killing of Osama Bin Laden on Pakistani soil by US troops. The US operation took place without the knowledge of Pakistani authorities, which the latter saw as a violation of its sovereignty. However, after it was revealed that the Al-Qaeda number one had been in hiding on a compound close to a military base for years, Pakistanis authorities were publicly embarrassed and both countries have since then reiterated the need for cooperation on both side.
Finally, on Saturday, Mr Obama left Deauville to visit Poland where he agreed on the establishment of a missile base in the Eastern European country by 2018. The plan was first set up in 2004, under the George W Bush administration and Russian President Medvedev , reproaching the inability of the US to come up with guarantees that the missiles will not be used against Russia, had until then managed to considerably slow down the progress of the negotiations. After the announcement of the agreement between the US and Poland, the Russian leader told the press at a conference that Russia was clearly against the plan and will remain extremely suspicious until it receives valid guarantees.