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Conference Urges Renewed Trans-Atlantic Cooperation

13 February 2005 -- German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer today called for a renewal of the trans-Atlantic relationship, saying the United States and the European Union "vitally depend on each other."

Fischer, addressing an international security conference in Munich, also highlighted NATO's continuing importance in
trans-Atlantic ties. He said that a new transatlantic relationship is not directed against NATO.

Fischer's comments came a day after Germany called for changes in NATO to reflect the changes in the world. U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer disagreed.

Earlier today, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged Europeans and Americans to plan for long-term global collective security.

He said a new blueprint for UN reform to be unveiled next month would focus on strengthening collective defences and forging an antiterrorism strategy for the UN.

Annan said the adoption of a comprehensive anti-terrorism convention will include the option of military action.