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Schroeder, Bush tipped for talks

Published on 05/01/2004

5 January 2004

BERLIN – German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and President George W. Bush could meet at the end of February when Schroeder visits the US to open a German art exhibition, Berlin said Monday.

The chancellor is to be in Jackson, Mississippi on 27 February to open an exhibition featuring baroque art from Dresden.

Deputy government spokesman Thomas Steg said Berlin expected that Bush had been invited to the exhibition. A meeting between Bush and Schroeder could take place either on the periphery of the exhibition or possibly in Washington.

Bush and Schroeder last met in September on the periphery of the United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York, ending a long period of frosty silence between the two leaders after Berlin refused to back Washington’s war effort in Iraq.

Schroeder last visited the White House on 31 January 2002. Diplomatic analysts in Berlin noted that it would be a major signal that Bush had drawn a line beneath the US-German differences over Iraq if he were to receive Schroeder at the White House.

Despite signs of an improvement in relations between Berlin and Washington, Germany roundly criticised the US’s decision to car opponents of the war from bidding for lucrative post-war reconstruction contracts in Iraq.


Subject: German news