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Bush to Urge Europe to Work with US on Global Issues


President Bush is urging Europe to work with the United States on issues with global reach. He says they should focus on more than just trans-Atlantic issues, and work together to help bring peace to the Middle East, curb Islamic extremism, and deal with the threat from Iran. VOA's Paula Wolfson reports in a speech scheduled for delivery Friday in Paris, Mr. Bush will reach out to America's European allies.

President Bush has made repairing frayed ties with Western Europe a major goal of his second term in office.

Shortly after taking the presidential oath of office for the second time in 2005, he went to Brussels where he called for a new era in trans-Atlantic relations.

White House National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley says there is evidence that new era has taken hold, and cites the leaders currently in power in Italy, Britain, Germany and France.

"You have in Prime Minister Berlusconi, Prime Minister Brown, Chancellor Merkel, President Sarkozy, leaders who are committed to a powerful and purposeful Europe that advances the values of liberty both within the confines of Europe and also beyond," he said.

Hadley says President Bush will use a speech Friday in Paris to urge European leaders to work even more closely with the United States to bring peace and prosperity to the countries of the Middle East.

"He will make the point that the rise of free and prosperous societies in the broader Middle East is essential to peace in the 21st century just as the rise of a free and prosperous Europe was essential to the peace of the 20th century," he added.

Hadley indicates the president will make the case for a unified stand on Iran, and a renewed commitment across the Atlantic to support Afghanistan.

The White House has labeled the Friday speech at the Paris headquarters of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as the centerpiece of the president's trip to Europe.

It follows talks in Italy, Germany and Slovenia, where President Bush attended the annual U.S.-EU Summit.

While in Paris, Mr. Bush will also hold talks with French President Nicholas Sarkozy. It will be their first formal meeting on French soil.

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