The nuclear issue was top of the agenda for talks between George W Bush and Vladimir Putin at the White House. On Iran the Russian president was keen to push diplomacy, while his American counterpart said he was confident Tehran would be referred to the UN Security Council.
“We both…we have the same goal. We don’t want the Iranians to have nuclear weapons, and we don’t want the North-Koreans to have nuclear weapons. And we talked about ways to achieve those goals,” Bush said. Meanwhile on the issue of Russia’s drive for entry into the World Trade Organisation, Bush said he expected an agreement by the end of the year. That was something Putin welcomed: “I’m grateful to the President of the United States for his understanding of our interests during these talks. I hope that the experts agreeing the conditions will come to some practical conclusions.” Despite policy differences, especially over Iran, both leaders were keen to project an air of friendship between them, even referring to each other by their first names.