DUBLIN - US President Barack Obama opened a four-nation tour of Europe on Monday in Ireland where he will explore his Irish roots in a town that was home to his great-great-great grandfather.
Obama and his wife Michelle landed in Dublin, first stop on a week-long trip that will include visits to Britain, France and Poland and is aimed at bolstering ties with long-time allies.
For Ireland, Obama's arrival, and the visit of Britain's Queen last week, came as a welcome distraction from the global attention paid to the country's financial woes.
During the week, Obama and his counterparts will cover pressing issues including Afghanistan and Pakistan after the killing of Osama bin Laden, the world economy and the "Arab spring" uprisings.
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