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Terrorism Fight Focus of Bush's First Stop on European Tour - 2002-05-22

President Bush is in Berlin the first stop on a four-nation European tour. During the trip, he will press for continued support for the war on terrorism. The president will also celebrate new ties between former Cold War foes.

The president began this weeklong journey with a stroll near the site of the Berlin Wall. He will end it with a signing ceremony ushering in new ties between NATO and Russia.

In a speech Thursday to the German parliament, Mr. Bush will talk about the strength of ties between Europe and the United States and the challenges the allies face.

There are challenges. But there is also friction. There is skepticism in Europe about the need to expand the war on terrorism particularly the possibility of action against Iraq.

Mr. Bush is expected to speak to those concerns in a speech Thursday to German lawmakers. U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell says the issue will also be discussed in the president's meeting with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. He says Mr. Bush wants to talk about the threat posed by nations that seek weapons of mass destruction.

"We are in constant discussion with our German friends about these nations that are pursuing these kinds of weapons," he said. "And Iraq certainly is one of the foremost advocates of obtaining this kind of capability and is working at it."

Mr. Bush got a taste of the level of European opposition to expanding the war on terrorism as his motorcade made its way from the airport through the streets of the city.

Tens of thousands of mostly peaceful demonstrators say they will protest throughout the president's visit. Security is tight with about 10,000 police deployed and traffic cut off for blocks around his hotel.

Tight security is also planned for the president's next stop Moscow. On Friday he will sign a new arms agreement that will slash long-range nuclear arsenals by two-thirds over the next decade. A few days later, Mr. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet again near Rome to mark the begining of the NATO-Russia council.