President Bush and European Union leaders have agreed to work together on the issue of climate change. In a wide-ranging meeting Monday, the leaders also agreed to continue pressuring Iran to give up its nuclear enrichment program. Leta Hong Fincher has more on the U.S.-E.U. summit.
At a summit with European Union leaders Monday, President Bush said both sides recognize that climate change is a challenge requiring global action. "One, we recognize that we have a problem with greenhouse gases. Two, we recognize we have a problem with a dependence on oil. Three, we recognize that we can use technologies to help solve this problem. And, four, we recognize we have an obligation to work together to promote the technologies necessary to solve the problem and encourage the developing world to use those technologies."
Mr. Bush has refused to commit the United States to limiting carbon emissions, saying that will hurt the U.S. economy. Still, German Chancellor Angela Merkel praised Mr. Bush for taking a major rhetorical step forward in recognizing the problem of global warming.
Ms. Merkel and the European Commission president, Jose Barroso, also stressed their unity with the United States in pressuring Iran to curb its uranium enrichment program.
President Bush says Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice might meet with her Iranian counterpart later this week in Egypt at a conference on Iraq. "Should the foreign minister of Iran bump into Condi Rice, Condi won't be rude. She's not a rude person. I'm sure she'll be polite. But she'll also be firm in reminding the representative of the Iranian government that there's a better way forward for the Iranian people than isolation."
The United States and European leaders accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only.
The summit also addressed the planned U.S. missile defense system in Europe. Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the plan as "seriously destabilizing" for his country. President Bush says he has started a dialogue with Russia to explain U.S. intentions more clearly.
"Our intention is to say to Russia that the system is something you ought to think about participating in; it's in your interests to have a system that could prevent a future Iranian regime, for example, from launching a weapon. It's in Russia's security interests," said the president.
Russia said last week it will freeze its compliance with a post-Cold War treaty that limits the deployment of military forces in Europe.