WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama will visit Sweden early next month as he has canceled a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, the White House said on Wednesday.
Obama will go to Stockholm, the capital of Sweden, on Sept. 4 and 5 for his first visit to the Nordic kingdom, which White House spokesman Jay Carney called "a close friend and partner to the United States."
The U.S. president dropped his one-on-one meeting with Putin originally slated for early September in Moscow mainly due to his disappointment over Russia's granting of temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, a former American intelligence contractor wanted by Washington for disclosing classified surveillance programs of the National Security Agency.
In a statement, Carney said that Sweden plays "a key leadership role" on the international stage, including in opening new trade and investment opportunities through the U.S.-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, advancing clean technologies and promoting environmental sustainability.
Sweden last hosted a U.S. president in 2001, when George W. Bush attended a European Union (EU) summit there.
Obama will move on from Sweden to the Russian city of St. Petersburg to attend the G20 summit on Sept. 5-6, said the White House.