Bush, Schroeder stress common goals at talks

23rd February 2005, Comments 0 comments

23 February 2005, MAINZ - Visiting US President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder emphasised their common policy goals on Wednesday, citing such issues as Iran's nuclear ambition, the Mideast peace process and Iraq's reconstruction, while declaring that they had put their past disagreements behind them. At a press conference after about 90 minutes of bilateral talks in Mainz, the two leaders stressed the message of transatlantic cooperation in dealing with issues facing the globe. Both

23 February 2005

MAINZ - Visiting US President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder emphasised their common policy goals on Wednesday, citing such issues as Iran's nuclear ambition, the Mideast peace process and Iraq's reconstruction, while declaring that they had put their past disagreements behind them.

At a press conference after about 90 minutes of bilateral talks in Mainz, the two leaders stressed the message of transatlantic cooperation in dealing with issues facing the globe. Both acknowledged there had been differences between the United States and Germany, but there were overriding common positions.

"We cannot deny that in the past there were different views (on Iraq)," Schroeder said about the main point which had severely strained US-German ties. "But this is past ... We have a common interest that there should be a stable, democratic Iraq."

Bush, similarly, noted that the US and Germany saw the need to "put past differences behind us and help Iraq". Later at the banquet, Bush stated flatly: "Past disagreements are behind us."

The two leaders also expressed hopes for the Mideast peace process, with Schroeder praising the Bush administration and Bush personally for the "forceful" actions to bolster the Israeli-Palestinian rapprochement

"I am happy for this powerful sign of American engagement in this issue," Schroeder said.

On the issue of Iran's nuclear ambitions, Bush repeated his position that "all options are on the table", implying the threat of force if necessary.

"But I also reminded people that diplomacy is just beginning. Iran is not Iraq," he said.

Bush thanked Germany, Britain and France "for taking the lead" in dealing with Iran on the nuclear issue. He said the US "will work with them ... We have to convince the mullahs to give up their nuclear ambitions." 

Earlier the two leaders issued a statement pledging joint action on cutting pollution to combat climate change.

The communique - which contains no new programmes, funds or binding decisions - says the US and Germany will boost work to improve energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

All such moves must "support economic growth", stresses the statement.

The US has refused to join the Kyoto agreement on cutting emissions in a bid to slow climate change. Germany strongly supports Kyoto.

Among areas of closer German-US cooperation announced in the statement are:

- Cooperation with developing countries to create cleaner energy sources.

- Moves to boost energy efficiency.

- Modernisation of domestic power stations to cut pollution.

- Greater efforts to develop future energy systems including the use of hydrogen as an energy carrier.

- Expanded cooperation on renewable energy including biomass, wind and solar.

"We will continue to work together... with the G8 countries... to enhance these efforts," concludes the statement. The G8 is the club of the world's eight leading industrial nations. dpa lm mga

 DPA

Subject: German news 

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