Sunday, April 13, 2008

Over NATO Differences Germany and US Smooth It Out

"Good luck Frank," said Rice before Steinmeier's ceremonial baseball pitch

Despite recent disagreements, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice are emphasizing the positive. Rice said she's looking forward to catching Steinmeier on YouTube.

In Washington at a joint press conference where no sense of annoyance was felt, Steinmeier and Rice said they discussed a broad range of issues Friday, April 11, including China, Iran, the Middle East and NATO.

Most recently, Germany and the United States had taken opposing sides on whether to invite Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO's membership track and German Chancellor Angela Merkel was reportedly annoyed that US President Bush pushed so hard for the two ex-Soviet states to be admitted to the alliance. NATO promised to incorporate the pair eventually.

"Coming out of the Bucharest summit, we have talked some about continuing to develop the alliance," Rice says, referring to the recent NATO meeting in Romania.

"I think looking back on this summit, we found not only reasonable, but forward-looking results," Steinmeier said in his appearance with Rice.

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