Bush to visit Germany in February

16th December 2004, Comments 0 comments

16 December 2004, BERLIN - US President George W. Bush is expected to visit Germany and meet with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in late February 2005, a German government spokesman said on Thursday. The spokesman noted that Bush is be in Brussels on 22 February to meet with the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, with the White House leader also expected to visit Britain and France while in Europe. "The federal government expects that the president will then also come to Germany," the

16 December 2004

BERLIN - US President George W. Bush is expected to visit Germany and meet with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder in late February 2005, a German government spokesman said on Thursday.

The spokesman noted that Bush is be in Brussels on 22 February to meet with the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, with the White House leader also expected to visit Britain and France while in Europe.

"The federal government expects that the president will then also come to Germany," the spokesman said in confirming a report on the German television network ARD.

Schroeder's foreign policy advisor Bernd Muetzelburg is in Washington working out details to determine the venue and date of the visit by Bush, the spokesman said.

Sources in the chancellor's office also disclosed that the White House had invited Schroeder to a visit to Washington, with that trip to take place sometime in the first half of 2005.

It was not clear where Bush and Schroeder would meet in Germany. The US side was said to be proposing such places as Meissen and Frankfurt-Oder in eastern Germany, with other possibilities being the romantic city settings of Heidelberg or Rothenburg ob der Tauber.

One consideration is that a venue in such places would be less likely to be the target of massive protest demonstrations as could be the case in the capital Berlin.

ARD television also reported that Bush, while in Germany, would be planning to visit American soldiers at a US military base.

Bush last visited Germany on 22 and 23 May 2002.

Afterwards, in the US march to war against Iraq, relations between Berlin and Washington became increasingly strained as Schroeder, strongly backed by public opinion, made clear that Germany would not be joining in the war on Iraq.

Relations went through their roughest spell of the post-World War II era in early 2003 just ahead of the US-led invasion of Iraq, with the strains showing in the often acerbic rhetoric on both sides.

Since then, Washington and Berlin have worked to patch up the relationship again, with Bush and Schroeder meeting in the framework of larger gatherings such as NATO and Group of Eight summits. The two men last met in September in New York while visiting the United Nations. 

DPA

Subject: German news

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