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EU Leaders React Positively To Rice Speech

9 February 2005 -- European leaders have reacted positively to U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's call for Europe and the United States to open a "new chapter" in their relationship after divisions over Iraq and other issues.

EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana said on French television that Rice had delivered a "positive message" and a "valuable gesture" in her speech yesterday in Paris.

French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier agreed with Rice that it is time for a fresh start between the United States and Europe. But he urged the two sides to listen to each other more, cautioning that "alliance is not allegiance."

In her address, Rice said Europe and the United States should make the pursuit of "global freedom" their top joint priority in the 21st century.

"This is a time of unprecedented opportunity for the trans-Atlantic alliance. If we make the pursuit of global freedom the organizing principle of the 21st century, we will achieve historic global advances -- for justice and prosperity, for liberty, and for peace. But a global agenda requires a global partnership, so let us multiply our common effort," Rice said.

Rice called for the United States and Europe to unite to provide Iraq with the security it needs to develop its political institutions and economy.

She also urged support for reforms in the Arab world, saying the region is suffering from an "unaccceptable" lack of freedom and economic prosperity that can lead toward feelings of helplessness and terrorism.

Rice is due today to continue her European tour by meeting with NATO and European Union officials in Brussels.