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Bush, Schroeder Wrap Up Talks

Bush and Schroeder in Mainz today 23 February 2005 -- U.S. President George W. Bush has concluded talks with German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, praising Berlin for what he called "its vital contributions" in Iraq.

Bush said at a news conference in Mainz today that his visit to Germany was one of the most important parts of his current European trip. The U.S. president visited Brussels yesterday and will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Bratislava, Slovakia, tomorrow.

Germany opposed the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq but has agreed to provide debt relief and consented to training new Iraqi security forces.

With Schroeder standing next to him, Bush stressed the need to put past differences behind.

Bush also said diplomatic efforts to rein in Iran's nuclear efforts were only just beginning. He said comparisons with Iraq were wrong.

"Iran must not have a nuclear weapon," Bush said. "For the sake of security and peace, they must not have a nuclear weapon and that is a goal shared by Germany, France, Great Britain, and the United States -- and working together, we can get this accomplished."

Iran has denied it is trying to develop a nuclear weapon.

(wire/televised reports)