LONDON, July 26 (UPI) -- Presumptive Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Barack Obama said Saturday his visit to the Middle East confirmed his views on strategy.
"What happens on a trip like this is, I think, you deepen your understandings," Obama told Fox News Channel as his trip drew to an end. "There was a lot of confirmation of my strategies -- that we need to get more troops into Afghanistan, and that the Iraqis are willing to take more responsibility … that Iran is a grave threat."
The Illinois senator flew back to Chicago from London Saturday after following up his Middle East trip with visits to Germany, France and Britain. He is to address the Unity '08 minority journalism convention in Chicago Sunday.
Obama told reporters he did not expect the eight-day overseas trip to boost his popularity immediately in the United States. Polls have shown him maintaining a steady single-digit lead over his likely Republican rival, U.S. Sen. John McCain of Arizona.
In his interview with Fox, Obama said that after spending time in both Iraq and Afghanistan he remains committed to his timetable of withdrawing combat troops from Iraq within 16 months of becoming president. But he said again that withdrawal will take into account "facts on the ground."