Obama Arrives In France For Top-Level Talks

President Barack Obama landed in France Thursday for meetings with the leaders of the world's leading economic powers, following a high-profile visit to London.

Obama is scheduled to have one-on-one meetings with Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev and Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, as well as participating in full day of discussions with leaders of the Group of Eight nations.

The G-8 include the United States, United Kingdom, France, Canada, Japan, Germany, Italy and Russia.

Obama's meetings come on the heels of a high-profile visit to London, where he made the case that Western leadership of the world remains "essential to the cause of human dignity."

In a history-making speech to a joint session of the British Parliament, Obama said "the longing for freedom and human dignity" is "universal, and it beats in every heart."

"We must act, and lead, with confidence in our ideals, and an abiding faith in the character of our people," Obama said, even while adding they will "proceed with humility, and the knowledge that we cannot dictate outcomes abroad."

And he linked this year's uprisings against regimes across the Middle East to the fall of Communism in Europe, of white minority rule in South Africa, and of dictatorships in Latin America and Southeast Asia, saying they reflect "a longing for the same freedoms that we take for granted at home."
CNN