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Europe needs the US and the US needs Europe

“More than ever, Europe needs the United States and the United States needs Europe.” says European Commission President Barroso

President Barroso and the Commissioner for External Relations Benita Ferrero-Waldner today received the US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to the European Commission in Brussels as part of her preparation for the visit of President Bush to the EU on February 22nd. The US Secretary of State was invited to join the External Relations Group of Commissioners to discuss how Europe can best work with the United States to tackle the global challenges faced today. Speaking after the meeting, President Barroso said,

“We have had a very substantial dialogue, based on the shared values and very many common interests which underpin our relationship. We agree that it is more vital than ever that Europe and the US – two longstanding allies sharing in essence the same values and foreign policy objectives – work together to promote democracy, freedom, stability and prosperity throughout the world. The opportunities for making progress are before us – whether it be in the Middle East, Afghanistan, or the Balkans. We will succeed if we act together. I am very much looking forward to the visit of President Bush here later this month, to the heart of a united Europe, made up of 25 Member States and 450 million citizens. This visit will symbolise the strong and enduring bonds of transatlantic co-operation that are stronger by far than any differences that may have existed between us. More than ever, Europe needs the United States and the United States needs Europe. We must seize this opportunity with both hands. Today’s international problems are too complex to “go it alone”.

“The joint attention of the European Union and the United States is needed immediately. Yesterday in the Middle East we saw real signs of hope for a new opening for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. I have strongly welcomed the truce declared by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It is my hope that this will lead to a definitive end to years of violence in the Middle East and put us back on the path towards a lasting peace.


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