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Last Updated: Monday, 21 February, 2005, 12:24 GMT
At a glance: US/Europe divisions
President Bush arrives in Brussels at the start of his European tour
Bush has promised to listen but remains bullish on many issues
US President George Bush is in Europe on a trip to try to heal some of the rifts that marked his first term.

But strong differences remain between the US and European nations on key international issues. Here are some of the most contentious.


The US seeks to draw a line under remaining transatlantic tensions. It wants assurances that Europeans will help train Iraqi security forces. Countries such as France and Germany concede progress was made in Iraq with the recent election. But they remain deeply hostile to the war and are reluctant to be seen to lend approval to the occupation.


The US is prepared in the short term to tolerate European efforts to negotiate a way out of the crisis over Iran's nuclear ambitions, but is deeply sceptical any agreement will hold. Europe is united on the need to avoid direct military action.


The US and Europe both back the latest peace initiative. But some Europeans suspect Israel is trying to determine the final shape of a peace deal with unilateral moves to withdraw from Gaza and build a separation barrier in the West Bank. A European conviction that US is soft on Israel is matched by a US belief that "Israel-bashing" is unhelpful.


Nato members are expected to agree to train Iraqi security forces and to expand peacekeeping operations in Afghanistan. But questions are being asked whether Nato can continue to straddle divergent US and European security priorities. Germany recently called for reforms, saying Nato was no longer the "primary venue" for transatlantic decision-making.


The US strongly opposes European moves to drop the arms embargo on China. It believes China needs to improve its human rights record and fears the lifting of the embargo could threaten Taiwan and upset the balance of power in north-eastern Asia. Europe argues that a code of conduct will ensure arms sales remain strictly regulated.


Stark differences also remain between the US and Europe on other issues including the US's opposition to the Kyoto treaty on climate change and the International Criminal Court.

Watch George W Bush address European leaders

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