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At the end of the General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting on 21 February, Jean Asselborn, current President of the Council of the European Union made the following statement on the meeting at the EU-USA summit on 22 February 2005:
"The Ministers have prepared the meeting of the EU-USA summit which will take place tomorrow and which is an important event: it is the first visit of a US President to the European institutions. It is also the first major tour of President Bush in his second term of office. This visit shows in a tangible manner the importance the two partners attach to the bonds that unite them.
We all agree in believing that this visit comes at a time when the two partners are facing several common challenges. We also agree in saying that it is together that we should attempt to take up these challenges.
The aim of the meeting is therefore to discuss among partners, who share common values and objectives, the best way to confront these challenges together.
The European Union and the United States very often share the same objective. The fact that they do not always have the same approach to achieve it should not hinder dialogue. On the contrary, because we share the same objective, we should seek even further means to cooperate concretely to achieve our goals.
On the agenda will be Iraq, Iran, the Western Balkans, and the Middle East peace process. We will explore ways to cooperate concretely on these diverse issues."
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