WASHINGTON - U.S. President Barack Obama will travel to Moscow for talks with Russian leaders, attend a Group of Eight summit in Italy and visit Ghana in a wide-ranging foreign tour in July, the White House said on Saturday.
Obama will also chair a meeting on energy and climate change with leaders of the world's top economies while attending the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, from July 8-10.
It will be Obama's fourth major international trip since taking office in January pledging to repair the United States' image abroad after eight years under his predecessor, George W. Bush.
Obama, who has promised a reset in sometimes strained relations with Russia, will visit Moscow from July 6-8 at the invitation of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev.
The summit meeting will provide an opportunity ... to deepen engagement on reducing nuclear weapons, cooperating on non-proliferation, exploring ways to cooperate on missile defense, addressing mutual threats and security challenges, and expanding the ties between American and Russian society and business, the White House said.
Washington and Moscow remain at odds over U.S. plans for a missile defense system in Eastern Europe that Russia sees as a threat to its security but which U.S. officials insist is meant to deter any missile threat from Iran.
The G8 summit of leading economies in Italy is expected to focus on efforts to curb the global financial crisis.
Obama, the son of a Kenyan father and an American mother, will make his first presidential visit to Africa when he goes to Ghana on July 10.
Despite high expectations inspired across Africa by Obama's election, the world's poorest continent has not been high on his agenda as he has tackled the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and nuclear standoffs with Iran and North Korea.
The White House said Obama hoped to strengthen U.S. ties with Ghana and highlight the critical role that sound governance and civil society play in promoting lasting development.
(Reporting by Matt Spetalnick, editing by Vicki Allen)