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Thursday, 23 May, 2002, 16:09 GMT 17:09 UK
Bush urges unity to beat terror
President Bush and Chancellor Schroeder hold a joint news conference after talks in Berlin
Trying to get the US message across
US President George W Bush has issued an urgent new appeal for unity in the face of the threat posed by global terrorism.

Addressing the German parliament, Mr Bush - who is on a week-long tour of Europe - said the threat of terrorism could not be appeased and America and its allies must remain united.


By being patient, relentless and resolute, we will defeat the enemies of freedom

George W Bush
"Our generation faces new and grave threats to liberty, to the safety of our people and to civilisation itself. We face an aggressive force that glorifies death," he said.

Mr Bush has now arrived in Moscow where he is due to sigh a landmark nuclear arms treaty with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

Parliament protest

"Those who despise human freedom will attack it on every continent... Those who seek terrible weapons are also familiar with the map of Europe," Mr Bush told German legislators.

"This threat cannot be appeased or ignored. By being patient, relentless and resolute, we will defeat the enemies of freedom."

The president received polite applause during his speech. But he was briefly interrupted when three members of parliament heckled him and unfurled a banner which read "Mr Bush, Mr Schroeder, stop your wars."

Protesters burns US flag
America is criticised on a range of issues
During a news conference shortly before his address to the Bundestag, Mr Bush said the Iraqi regime presented a danger to civilisation.

The Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, should be disposed of, Mr Bush said, before he began sharing weapons of mass destruction with groups like al-Qaeda.

But he insisted that he had no current plans to attack Baghdad.

Mr Bush, whose hard line on Iraq has been met by scepticism and protests in Berlin, thanked Germany - "an incredibly important ally" - for shouldering a significant burden in the fight against terrorism.

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said there were no differences between Germany and the US on the issue of Iraq, adding that he had been assured Germany would be consulted if a military operation against Baghdad were being planned.

Evidence

However, several senior German politicians, including some close to Mr Schroeder, said President Bush would only get their support if he gave clear evidence that Saddam Hussein is supporting the al-Qaeda network.

Around 20,000 anti-US protesters took to the streets of Berlin on Wednesday night.

As well as opposing action against Iraq, they also voiced opposition to US policies on trade, the Middle East conflict, and the environment

The US has been criticised in Europe for pulling out of the Kyoto global warming treaty and for abandoning a pact to set up an international criminal court.

A Kremlin guard tackles a protester in Red Square
A protester wrestled to the ground amid tight security in Moscow
Friction also exists over large US tariffs on steel imports, America's pro-Israel Middle East policy, and its war-like stance against Iraq.

The focus of Mr Bush's tour now switches to Russia where he will also make the case for his war on terror in meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

On Friday, the two men will sign a treaty slashing US and Russian long-range nuclear arsenals by two-thirds.

Despite warming relations between Washington and Moscow, Mr Bush said he would voice concerns to Mr Putin over Russia's sale of nuclear technology and conventional weapons to Iran.

"One way to make the case is that if you arm Iran you are liable to get the weapons pointed at you," Mr Bush said.

The president is also to visit France and Italy.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Richard Slee
"President Bush warned that their resolve must remain strong"
President George W Bush
"Those who seek terrible weapons are also familiar with the map of Europe"
Karsten Voigt of the German Foreign Ministry
"Mr Bush convinced large segments of German public opinion"
See also:

23 May 02 | Americas
22 May 02 | Americas
22 May 02 | Europe
22 May 02 | Media reports
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