Bush seeks backing for ‘new Iraq’

news: Bush seeks backing for ‘new Iraq’

US President, George W. Bush, is to urge European nations to give greater support to the new Iraqi government. In a speech in Brussels, he will dismiss the transatlantic rift over the Iraq war as a “passing disagreement”. The speech to EU and NATO leaders comes at the start of the US president’s five-day visit to Europe this week. In Brussels, Bush will host a private dinner with French President, Jacques Chirac, who has frequently criticised the US-led Iraq war. He will also meet German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroeder, who has also openly criticised the Iraq war. Excerpts of the speech Bush will make in Brussels were recently released to the media. “As past debates fade, and great duties become clear, let us begin a new era of transatlantic unity,” he will say. And on Iraq, he will comment: “Now is the time for the established democracies to give tangible political, economic and security assistance to the world’s newest democracy.” A huge security operation has been put in place for the President’s trip. Around 2,500 Belgian police and 250 US secret agents have been deployed in Brussels for the visit. On Sunday, hundreds of demonstrators rallied in central Brussels, carrying signs reading “Bush is not welcome”.