The US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice chose the French capital Paris to make the keynote speech of her whirlwind seven day tour of Europe and the Middle East.
While the debate over transatlantic relations has raged in the past, the tone today was more peaceful as Rice urged Europe to put aside differences over the Iraq war.
“We have had our disagreements but it is time to turn away from the disagreements of the past,” she said.
“It is time to open a new chapter in our relationship and a new chapter in our alliance. America stands ready to work with Europe on our common agenda and Europe must stand ready to work with America.
“After all, history will surely judge us not by our old disagreements but by our new achievements.”
Her choice of venue was also telling. The National Foundation for Political Science has been a centre of debate about European and US relations.
The desire for better ties also seems to be shared by France. Rice’s visit to Paris is being described as a new start.