U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is set to deliver a major foreign policy speech in France Tuesday aimed at seeking common ground with the United States' European allies and easing tensions over Iraq.
Ms. Rice is expected to stress the shared interests of Europe and the United States in promoting democracy worldwide. After her speech, she is due to meet with French President Jacques Chirac, one of the strongest opponents of the U.S.-led war in Iraq.
Earlier today in Rome, Ms. Rice met with Italian Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini and the Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Angelo Sodano.
Ms. Rice, on her first foreign trip as Secretary of State, already has made stops in Britain, Germany, Poland, and Turkey, as well as Israel and the Palestinian territories. She is laying the groundwork for President Bush's upcoming European trip.