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Bush to Call for New Era in Trans-Atlantic Ties

President Bush is in Brussels, Belgium on a tour designed to mend frayed trans-Atlantic ties and promote co-operation between the United States and Europe.

In the first speech of his European tour, the president will call for a new era of trans-Atlantic ties.

According to excerpts released in advance by the White House, Mr. Bush will focus his Brussels speech on the need to put past debates aside and move forward - particularly in meeting the goal of peace in the Middle East. He will reaffirm support for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. And, he will call on the nations of Europe to help the United States build a democratic Iraq.

The president's decision to invade Iraq, almost two years ago, has been a lingering source of friction, and the aim of this tour - the first foreign trip of his second term - is clearly to put relations with Europe back on a sound footing.

In his speech, his meetings at NATO and the European Union and in his private conversations with war critics, Mr. Bush is expected to emphasize common values and concerns. He will stress that a strong trans-Atlantic friendship is essential and will vow that no passing disagreement - indeed, no power on earth - will divide them.