Schroeder, Bush patch upIraq war row at G8 summit

9th June 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 June 2004 , SEA ISLAND - US President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder used the G8 summit for extended private talks which re-established warm ties after their bitter Iraq war row. "We and the Germans have come back together," a senior US official said. "This was a very warm meeting." Relations between Schroeder and Bush were badly chilled after Schroeder used an anti-Iraq war stance to win re-election in 2002. US and German government officials sunk into a tit-for-tat cycle of insu

9 June 2004

SEA ISLAND - US President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder used the G8 summit for extended private talks which re-established warm ties after their bitter Iraq war row.

"We and the Germans have come back together," a senior US official said. "This was a very warm meeting."

Relations between Schroeder and Bush were badly chilled after Schroeder used an anti-Iraq war stance to win re-election in 2002.

US and German government officials sunk into a tit-for-tat cycle of insults which reached its low point when a Schroeder cabinet member compared Bush with Adolf Hitler.

The minister resigned but the damage was done and US officials described German-American ties as "poisoned."

Bush broke off contact with Schroeder from 2002 to 2003 and the two leaders did not talk for almost 12 months.

But that's all over now, stressed the US official at the Group of Eight (G8) summit of industrial nations.

"Last year belongs to last year. It belongs to the category of history," said the official.

Indeed, Schroeder and Bush could not seem to get enough of each other at their meeting during the G8 on Sea Island, Georgia, in the southern US.

"I love to be here, particularly since the weather is - compared to what we are used to - so nice," said Schroeder who thrives in warm climates and happily shed his suit and tie for casual beach clothes at the luxury resort.

Bush and Schroeder's talks had been so good that they went into overtime and both leaders only broke off their meeting after protocol members forced them to do so, said the Bush official.

Some key differences remain, however.

Germany will not send troops to Iraq and Schroeder had earlier expressed doubts about giving NATO any role in Baghdad despite the fact that 15 of NATO's 26 members are involved in the country.

The US official said, however, that Schroeder had agreed to discuss possible NATO roles in Iraq including the use of the alliance to train Iraq's armed forces.

Final decisions are expected at NATO's Istanbul summit on 28 to 29 June.

"The two leaders are on a rapidly converging path with regard to Iraq," the official said.

DPA

Subject: German news 

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