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EU-USA Summit: joint press conference of US President George Bush, President of the European Council Costas Simitis and European Commission President Romano Prodi, White House (25/6/03)

EU-US Summit: Prodi-Simitis-Bush
Talks at the EU-US Summit in Washington were described in glowing terms by the participants – US President George Bush, the President of the European Council Costas Simitis and European Commission President Romano Prodi – who used terms such as “constructive”, “fruitful” and “excellent”.Speaking at a joint press conference after the talks, Bush referred to the “historical and strong ties” between the EU and the USA, while Simitis – underlining the common will for cooperation – spoke of “the interdependence of the two poles, which is vitally important for the global economy”. By way of indication he referred to the agreement signed on mutual judicial assistance to combat criminal activity, the joint statement on the non-dissemination of weapons of mass destruction, the emphasis placed on the implementation of the road map for peace in the Middle East, the commencement of cooperation in the area of air travel, the joint research initiative to produce energy from hydrogen and efforts for the successful outcome of the Doha trade round, regarding which, Prodi observed, Community consultations must first be held concerning the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy.

Acknowledging that the EU and US “do not share absolutely identical views”, Simitis said that “friendship requires discipline in the handling of our differences and efforts to seek those areas which unite us”. 

Replying to questions, Bush reiterated his steadfast position that “organisations such as Hamas must be dismantled and the international community must soon take action in this direction, by cutting off their funding for example”. On the issue of Iran, Bush noted that “the free world demands that Iran complies”, while Prodi noted that “the dialogue with Iran is now deepening”.

Replying to a question on the European perspective of shaping a common defence, Simitis said that such a development  was in the interests of both sides, adding that it was a great mistake to give a dimension of “rivalry” to the European initiative. In this respect, Simitis referred to the precedent of cooperation set by the replacement of NATO forces with European forces in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which may be repeated some time in the future in Bosnia-Herzegovina. On this point, Simitis underlined the importance of respect for international law and UN Security Council resolutions.

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Joint Statement on the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction

Joint Statement on Transatlantic Aviation Negotiations

Joint Statement on the Hydrogen Economy

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