Tags: Bush | Address | Bundestag

Bush To Address Bundestag

Thursday, 23 May 2002 12:00 AM

White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters flying with Bush aboard Air Force One that Bush's speech "will reflect our shared values and vision with people of Germany and the German government."

But when Bush arrived in Berlin on Wednesday, he was met with thousands of demonstrators opposing what some called his "global war" on terrorism.

Though German officials were quick to say the crowds did not represent the country's attitudes, one senior German official, who asked not to be quoted by name, said Bush's visit comes at a time when Germany and Western Europe are anxious that the U.S. foreign policy planners discount Europe's views.

"When your planes don't have to stop at Ramstein (a U.S. air base) to refuel," he said, "things have changed." His remark alludes to the vast U.S. military and technological power that has outstripped the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Russian military power.

Though Germany supported the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan against terrorism and has contributed both armed forces and police trainers to assist Afghanistan in forming a national police force, it is Washington's continued warnings about military action against Iraq and Washington's alleged tilt toward Israel in the Middle East that cause anxiety in Europe.

Germany "wants to be a partner," this official said, "but it wants to be considered."

Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters on his arrival in Berlin on Wednesday that he was sure Bush's discussion with German officials will include a "conversation on Iraq -- we are in constant discussion with our German friends about these nations that are procuring these kinds of weapons."

The president begins his official day with a meeting with Germany's president, Johannes Rau, and his wife at the ornate Bellevue Palace. Germany's presidency is a ceremonial position and the important policy sessions follow during a meeting and lunch with Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

Bush addresses the Bundestag at 2 p.m. local time (8 a.m. EDT) and portions of his address may be carried on television in the United States.

Fleischer said Bush would talk about German's relations with Russia and stress "in terms of trade and the economy, the president believes very deeply that healthy competition is good for both sides of the Atlantic."

The streets around the Bundestag and Bush's hotel, the venerable Adlon, were still under tight police control Thursday, but in the early part of the day few demonstrators were in evidence. Bush's hotel is within a few blocks of the famous Brandenberg Gate, the very heart of historic German government power.

Bush will end his day in Moscow, where on Friday he will sign a new arms agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Copyright 2002 by United Press International.

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White House press secretary Ari Fleischer told reporters flying with Bush aboard Air Force One that Bush's speech will reflect our shared values and vision with people of Germany and the German government. But when Bush arrived in Berlin on Wednesday, he was met with...
Bush,Address,Bundestag
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2002-00-23
Thursday, 23 May 2002 12:00 AM
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