WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is gathering nearly 50 African heads of state in Washington for an unprecedented summit aimed in part at building his legacy on a continent where his commitment has been questioned.
But the backdrop for the conference that begins Monday underscores what has been a constant challenge to that effort. Even as Obama immerses himself in discussions on Africa, the world's attention — and much of his own — will be on an extraordinary array of urgent overseas crises.
Among them: Gaza clashes, Russia's provocations in Ukraine and mounting extremism in Iraq.
An outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in West Africa also threatens to cast a shadow over the summit. Leaders from at least two affected countries canceled plans to travel to Washington.