Iran News ...


12/30/06

Ex-German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder warns of growing rift between US and Europe

Berlin, Dec 30, IRNA-Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder warned of a deepening rift between the US and Europe over how to deal with global problems like fighting terrorism and protecting the environment.

"After the end of the East-West conflict, US domestic political interests are more and more pushing to the forefront and increasingly the impression arises that American and European world views are drifting apart," Schroeder wrote in his best-selling memoirs titled 'Decisions: My Life in Politics'.

"This applies to dealing with terrorism, questions of international law, the International Court in The Hague and not to a lesser degree to protecting the environment. More than ever before, an intensive transatlantic dialogue is necessary to focus on the differences," he added.

Schroeder pointed out that to this date, the US is still unclear over its policy towards the European Union.

On the one hand, Washington encourages Europe to be more self-reliant, however the moment Europeans are trying to realize this independence, America proceeds to undermine it, said the ex-German leader whose steadfast anti-Iraq war stance led to a major fall-out with the US.

"France and Germany's 'no' to the Iraq war made clear what conservative America thinks of an independent Europe: nothing," Schroeder said.

He added there are US politicians who prefer to see a Europe which is at odds with one another.

The politician stressed that the orientation of values between young Americans and European are "increasingly diverging".

On the US fiasco in Iraq, Schroeder made clear that America "can win a war by itself but not the peace".

"To win the peace, you need partners, not only in the transatlantic alliance but also partners in the region." Schroeder highlighted also Russia's crucial global role in establishing peace, specifically in the volatile Mideast region.

An intensive diplomatic cooperation between Europe and Russia can help promote the Mideast peace and resolve the Iranian nuclear conflict, added Schroeder who enjoys very close personal ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He urged Europe to transform its strategic partnership with Russia into a "privileged one".

Pointing to China's mounting weight on the international political scene, Schroeder underscored the Asian country's not only economic but also political importance.

He hailed China for dealing "very responsibly" with its worldwide role as witnessed in the North Korean conflict and managing the 1997-8 Asian economic crisis.

"None of the global challenges -like climate protection, energy policy and preserving peace- can be tackled in future without China," Schroeder stressed.

Referring to Germany's "special responsibility" for the Mideast region, Schroeder reaffirmed Berlin's "moral and political duty" to support Israel's right to exist.

Furthermore Schroeder called for "expanding special ties with Arab states- namely the Persian Gulf states and Saudi Arabia".

The German politician urged also effective measures to fight global terrorism and fanaticism.

He added that the battle against terrorism can only be won if there is a "worldwide social, material and also cultural society".

Schroeder was Germany's chancellor from 1998 until 2005.

... Payvand News - 12/30/06 ... --



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