- The Washington Times - Friday, July 13, 2001

National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice said yesterday that President Bush will urge European leaders at a summit next week to join the United States in a battle against global poverty.
Mr. Bush will raise "the theme of global partnership" at the annual summit of the world's leading economies and Russia, a group known as G-8, in Genoa, Italy, July 20-22.
The "prime focus" of the meeting will be "global poverty alleviation," Miss Rice said. "The president will come to Genoa prepared to put forward real, substantive proposals on how the world's most industrialized nation can meet this challenge."
She also said the president will urge the Europeans to take on a bigger role in global affairs.
Washington "will not always grab the headlines" in foreign affairs, but it "is committed to partnership with our European allies, and our commitment remains strong," she said.
"We are prepared to welcome the European Union as a foreign-policy partner, if it is ready to take on real responsibilities," she told the National Press Club.
In a speech that spanned a variety of issues and geographical regions, Miss Rice called Mr. Bush's foreign-policy experience in his first six months in office "a good start."
She also said she was "surprised by the sense of surprise" in many circles by Mr. Bush's deft handling of complex and delicate matters.
During Mr. Bush's first European trip last month, for example, "he refocused the discussion on the values that unite us," while at the same time "he did not shy away from any of the issues driving the so-called values gap," such as the death penalty, gun control, biotechnology and climate change, Miss Rice said.
She said the Bush administration is determined to "do away with years of mixed signals and ambivalent body language from Washington."
Noting the commitment of the United States to helping the Balkans "become fully a part of Europe, whole, free and at peace," she said this can be achieved only if Washington, NATO and the European Union work together.
As evidence of the U.S. commitment, Mr. Bush will visit Kosovo, the embattled Yugoslav province, after the G-8 summit, Miss Rice said.
She made a strong pitch for a national missile defense, and said that the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty is "obsolete" and an impediment to testing.
Elsewhere in the world, she said U.S.-China relations are improving, despite differences with Beijing on security issues, human rights and arrests of U.S. passport holders.
She said Washington is "ready to talk" with North Korea, but the "ball" is in Pyongyang's court. "We understand fully what [South Korean] President Kim Dae-jung is trying to do in the 'sunshine policy' of rapprochement and we are fully supportive of that," she said.
At a meeting with Mr. Kim at the White House in early March, Mr. Bush said the United States would not continue the Clinton administration's diplomatic efforts with the North, but after a policy review, Washington decided to resume negotiations.
In response to a question on relationships in the national-security team, Miss Rice rejected suggestions of a "rift" between her and Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.

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