bush & berlin

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    NBC, MSNBC AND NEWS SERVICES

    NEW YORK, Sept. 24 Ñ President Bush and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said Wednesday they had buried their differences over the war in Iraq, but Schroeder did not lend his support to a U.S.-drafted U.N. resolution or agree to contribute troops or money to help stabilize postwar Iraq.

    BUSH AND SCHROEDER played down their differences over Iraq at the end of a midmorning meeting, a day after the president asked for international support for the postwar stabilization effort in an address to the United Nations.

    Bush said he had told Schroeder, "Look, weÕve had our differences, and theyÕre over."

    Schroeder added, "Indeed, we very much feel that the differences ... have been left behind."

    Receiving a renewed German offer to help train Iraqi police and security forces, Bush said, "I appreciate his efforts to help Iraq grow to be a peaceful and stable and democratic country."

    Still, there was no indication that Germany would contribute peacekeeping troops, as it has to Afghanistan, or that Schroeder would retract his support for FranceÕs call for a quick end to the U.S. occupation of Iraq.

    And Schroeder said he did not feel "under time pressure" from a proposed U.S. resolution in the U.N. Security Council designed to draw in troops and financial support for reconstruction.

    Except for a handshake at an economic conference last spring, the meeting between Bush and Schroeder was their first formal discussion in more than a year.

    MEETS WITH OTHER LEADERS

    Bush also met with Caribbean leaders, the presidents of Ghana and Mozambique, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee in an effort to drum up support for the U.S.-drafted resolution before returning to Washington. On Tuesday, he met with French President Jacques Chirac, who has led opposition to the U.S. plan for a slow, deliberate transition to democracy, and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar.

    A senior U.S. official told The Associated Press that Bush was having a tough time persuading the leaders to contribute to the stabilization effort after rebuffing calls for a speedy transfer of power to an interim Iraqi government and a substantial role for the United Nations in Iraq.


 
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