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In a speech earlier this month, Mr. Bruton predicted that Mr. Obama will be preoccupied with pressing domestic issues like the financial crisis to spend too much time on foreign policy.

“There are now, of course, high expectations in Europe of a major change in policy in the United States with the election of President Obama and of a Democratic majority in Congress,” he said in a speech to the Bertelsmann Foundation.

“To those in Europe who expect big changes very quickly, I would refer to domestic constraints on the president’s freedom to act internationally,” he said. “What many are worried about is that the United States won’t be ready for Copenhagen.”

• Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washington