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Rosy transatlantic outlook but Russia worries resurface

brussels bureau

Rosy transatlantic outlook but Russia worries resurface


In the White House Rose Garden, transatlantic partners the European Union and the United States have struck a friendly tone at their annual summit. Their leaders ‘found common ground’ on climate change and energy security. The host was asked about Moscow’s objections to Washinton’s plan for an anti-missile shield in Europe.

President Bush said: “Our intention is to say to Russia that the system is something you oughta think about participating in: it’s your interest to have a system that could prevent a future Iranian regime for example from launching a weapon.” German Chancellor Angela Merkel, heading the current EU presidency, pursued her goal of trying to convince US President George W. Bush to take concrete steps, ahead of a G8 summit in June towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Chancellor Merkel said: “There is a common understanding that we have a problem and a solution must be found. Certainly, there are different approaches for solving this, but together we have a range of possibilities. Among them is the US engagement to develop a 20 percent bio-fuel energy mix by 2020.”

The leaders also discussed Iran’s nuclear program, Middle East peace, Afghanistan and Darfur. Merkel has developed a close relationship with Bush, repairing ties which became badly strained when her predecessor clashed with the US over the Iraq war.

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