The Cable

The Cable goes inside the foreign policy machine, from Foggy Bottom to Turtle Bay, the White House to Embassy Row.

So which world leaders scored Obama meetings next week?

After President Obama has rolled out his nuclear policy review Tuesday morning, he used his down time to turn his attention to another major nuclear initiative: the Nuclear Security Summit being held in Washington next week. With 47 world leaders coming to town, Obama simply can’t very well schedule one-on-one meetings with all of them ...

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After President Obama has rolled out his nuclear policy review Tuesday morning, he used his down time to turn his attention to another major nuclear initiative: the Nuclear Security Summit being held in Washington next week.

With 47 world leaders coming to town, Obama simply can't very well schedule one-on-one meetings with all of them -- lest international diplomacy turn into the equivalent of speed dating. Still, the least the president can do is give a phone call to the leaders he's rejecting, and that's what he was doing Tuesday afternoon.

After President Obama has rolled out his nuclear policy review Tuesday morning, he used his down time to turn his attention to another major nuclear initiative: the Nuclear Security Summit being held in Washington next week.

With 47 world leaders coming to town, Obama simply can’t very well schedule one-on-one meetings with all of them — lest international diplomacy turn into the equivalent of speed dating. Still, the least the president can do is give a phone call to the leaders he’s rejecting, and that’s what he was doing Tuesday afternoon.

So far, the world leaders Obama has granted an audience to are (in alphabetical order by country): President Serzh Sargsyan of Armenia, President Hu Jintao of China, Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, King Abdullah II of Jordan, President Nursultan Nazarbayev of Kazakhstan, Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia, Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani of Pakistan, and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev doesn’t need a bilateral, because he will have lots of time to hang out with Obama Thursday in Prague when they meet there to sign the new START agreement. Obama just met with French President Nicolas Sarkozy last week. And British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is skipping the summit to gear up his campaign ahead of the May elections he announced this morning.

So who’s not getting face time with Obama? One confirmed rejection is Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, who got the consolation phone call from Obama just a few hours ago.

"President Saakashvili thanked President Obama for his invitation to the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington," according to a readout of the call from the Georgian side. "President Obama thanked President Saakashvili for Georgia’s exceptional commitment of troops to the international effort in Afghanistan."

What Obama didn’t mention in the call Georgia’s aspirations to join NATO or Georgia’s concern about the French sale of a new assault ship to Russia.

Hey, maybe they’ll run into each other at the buffet.

So, who are the other countries may be soon getting the rejection call? Looks like the leaders of Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Finland, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, the Philippines, Poland, the Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, Spain, Sweden, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Ukraine, and Vietnam.

Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at josh.rogin@foreignpolicy.com.

Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.

A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.

Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C. Twitter: @joshrogin

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