News

Bush Says NATO Leaders Agree to Put Aside Past Disputes

President Bush says America's commitment to NATO is strong, and vows to listen to the concerns of alliance members. 

European commentators refer to the president's European tour as a charm offensive.  Mr. Bush uses another term.

"You might call this a listening tour," he said.

Those were words critics of his Iraq policy have been waiting to hear.  At a news conference at NATO headquarters, Mr. Bush said he strongly believes he did the right thing in invading Iraq, but he added he understands why some Europeans did not agree.

"The major issue that irritated a lot of Europeans was Iraq.  I understand that.  I can figure it out.  And the key now is to put that behind us," he added.

President Bush spoke about the historic ties that bind the United States and Europe, and said it is only fitting that his first major stop on his European tour would be NATO headquarters.  He called it the most successful alliance in the history of the world.

"The relationship between the United States and Europe is a vital relationship, a necessary relationship, an important relationship, and our relationship within NATO is the cornerstone of that relationship," noted Mr. Bush.

He said NATO must and will evolve to face new challenges and better serve the members of the alliance.  And he welcomed the announcement that all 26 members will contribute in one way or another to the training of Iraqi security forces.  Some contributions will be small, but the president said they are far from symbolic.

"Every contribution matters,” he said. “26 nations sitting around that table said it is important for NATO to be involved in Iraq.  It is a strong statement."

Mr. Bush described his discussions with NATO leaders as a healthy dialogue.  Standing by his side, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said he would be looking at proposals to make greater use of the alliance as a forum for dealing with political, as well as military, issues.

"If NATO wants to go on keeping the public parliamentary support for its operations and for its missions, we really need to discuss key political questions surrounding those operations and missions," said Mr. Scheffer.

The NATO chief said as the alliance takes on a greater role in non-member countries, such as Afghanistan, those political discussions will become even more crucial.

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriagei
X
May 21, 2015 4:14 AM
The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.
Video

Video Women to March for Peace Between Koreas

Prominent female activists from around the world plan to march through the demilitarized zone dividing North and South Korea to call for peace between the two neighbors, divided for more than 60 years. The event, taking place May 24, marks the International Women's Day for Peace and Disarmament and has been approved by both Koreas. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Drug Use Rises in Afghanistan Following Record High Poppy Crops

Afghanistan has seen record high poppy crops during the last few years - and the result has been an alarming rise in illegal drug use and addiction in the war-torn country. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem has this report from Kabul.
Video

Video America’s Front Lawn Gets Overhaul

America’s front yard is getting a much-needed overhaul. Almost two kilometers of lawn stretch from the U.S. Capitol to the Washington Monument. But the expanse of grass known as the National Mall has taken a beating over the years. Now workers are in the middle of restoring the lush, green carpet that fronts some of Washington’s best-known sights. VOA’s Steve Baragona took a look.

VOA Blogs