Bush to meet EU leaders

Agence France Presse

Washington, June 20:

US president George W Bush meets top officials of a deeply troubled European Union on Monday as his administration underscores its desire to boost trans-Atlantic cooperation on international affairs. The summit comes two days before an international conference on Iraq in Brussels on Wednesday, jointly sponsored by the United States and the European Union in an effort to show that the deep rifts caused by the invasion of Iraq are behind them. And it comes on the heels of last week’s acrimonious EU summit, which broke down amid budget squabbles, leaving a sense that the 25-member bloc is in crisis. Luxembourg prime minister Jean-Claude Juncker, who holds the EU presidency, EU commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and other top EU officials were to convene at the White House early Monday for meetings followed by a press conference. Economic and trade cooperation between the United States and the European Union will be high on the agenda Monday.