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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 September, 2003, 19:12 GMT 20:12 UK
Summit 'friends' take tough stance

By Rob Watson
BBC Washington correspondent

It was the final touch in a week of diplomacy that took President George Bush from the United Nations in New York to the decidedly more rustic surroundings of Camp David.

But he has still to come up with much in the way of firm offers on Iraq.

Though President Vladimir Putin insisted Russia was keen to help out there as soon as possible, he said the extent of its co-operation would depend on what he called the parameters of a new UN resolution.

President Putin (L) and President Bush
Vladimir and George insist they are still friends, despite Iraq
"We understand that this is a very complicated process that should be based on a solid legal and administrative base and should go ahead stage by stage," he said.

"The degree and the extent and level of Russia's participation in the restoration of Iraq will be determined after we know the parameters of the resolution - of the new resolution on Iraq."

President Bush said he understood that but insisted it was in everyone's interest to see Iraq succeed.

"I recognise that some countries are inhibited from participation because of the lack of a UN resolution," he said.

"We're working to get a satisfactory resolution out of the UN. We spent some time discussing that today. It is in the national interests of free nations that Iraq be free and peaceful."

'Nuclear blackmail'

Both men called on Iran and North Korea not to develop nuclear weapons.

President Bush said what was important was that both he and President Putin "understand it's in our national interest that Iran doesn't develop a nuclear a weapon" even describing that as "the most important thing that came out of these meetings".

That said, President Putin stopped well short of promising to stop selling Iran nuclear technology, as America has asked.

Instead, he insisted that Russia had no plan to help with the creation of weapons of mass destruction in Iran or anywhere else in the world.

There were also caveats on North Korea.

President Putin urged the US to offer North Korea security guarantees in return for abandoning Pyongyang's nuclear programme - something Washington has always viewed as nuclear blackmail.

But they still call each other Vladimir and George, both insisting they are still friends despite the falling out over Iraq.

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27 Sep 03  |  Americas
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26 Sep 03  |  Americas
Putin urges UN role in Iraq
25 Sep 03  |  Europe
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27 Aug 03  |  Southern Counties
Putin's Russia comes of age
31 May 03  |  Europe

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