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Another summit – this one is a biggie

Posted by Helen Thursday, December 09, 2004

Poor old Colin Powell. He still thinks that if he is friendly to “Europeans” (as opposed to European countries), they will be friendly to him and the United States. All this despite the mauling he had from France before the Iraqi war and the present refusal by the European members of NATO to do anything at all to help either Iraq or Afghanistan.

He has made various statements during his discussions with the NATO foreign ministers on the need for trans-Atlantic co-operation and the importance of friendly collaboration between Europe and the United States. Secretary of State Powell is, of course, on his way out. His successor, Condoleeza Rice, is an expert on Russia and Eastern Europe. It will be interesting to see whether she will be able to find her way round those rather pesky State Department advisers who keep insisting that there is such a thing as a “European opinion” and that it is best represented by whatever the French President, backed by German, Spanish and Luxembourg politicians happens to say.

Still, he did mention one fact: President Bush will be visiting Europe on February 22, a month after his inauguration. He will be having a summit with all the NATO leaders and all the EU leaders, which will be separate occasions, one hopes. He will also be having meetings with separate European leaders and that might be ultimately more fruitful.