Usa and eu want to move closer together

The USA and the European Union want to cooperate more closely economically and on climate protection. U.S. President George W. Bush and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in her capacity as EU Council president, agreed to set up relevant working groups. Bush and Merkel also spoke Thursday in Washington about the world's conflict hot spots.

USA trip "no coincidence" From Merkel's point of view, the talks "went well," said government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm on Friday after returning from the U.S. Merkel, at a joint press conference with Bush in Washington, stressed that it was "no coincidence" that her first foreign trip under Germany's EU and G8 presidencies was to the U.S. This expresses the fact that the EU and the USA share common interests and values and that cooperation is "essential" in order to advance the solution of problems. An EU-U.S. summit is planned for the spring, to be held in the U.S. There is no exact date yet, according to Wilhelm.

"Not against other economic areas"

Merkel and Bush made clear that the planned increased economic cooperation was not directed against other economic areas and not against the Doha World Trade Round. Both expressed the will to succeed in the WTO negotiations, even if the window of opportunity here is not infinite, as Merkel emphasized. According to the Chancellor, this also involves ies of intellectual property protection, patent law and harmonization of financial market regulations.Merkel said she was pleased that the U.S. was willing to talk about reducing greenhouse gases and being more energy efficient. There were many opportunities for cooperation between the U.S. and the EU in this area. Bush also stressed the need for environmental protection.According to Wilhelm, Bush has outlined some ideas about the future of Iraq to the chancellor. The government spokesman did not want to give details. Bush to present his strategy in a keynote speech next week. The goal is to create a self-sustaining and defensible Iraq, Bush stressed. He said he still had to hold consultations on these ies. Merkel reiterated that Germany would continue to refrain from military involvement in Iraq, but would support everything politically to ensure that Iraq develops peacefully and "that people no longer have to fear for their lives.". This is mainly about reconstruction and training assistance, as Wilhelm said.

Other areas of conflict were also on the agenda

Bush welcomed Merkel's initiative to revive the Middle East Quartet of the U.S., UN, EU and Russia to resolve the conflicts between Israel and the Palestinians. Other topics of discussion were Iran's nuclear program, the situation in Lebanon, in the Sudanese crisis region of Darfur and in Afghanistan. However, the German government has not yet complied with NATO's request to send "Tornado" reconnaissance jets to Afghanistan. The examination of the request is still underway, Wilhelm said.

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