During a promotional tour for his new book, former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Sunday that the relationship between the United States and Germany was still strong, despite disagreements between the two governments over the war in Iraq. In an interview with Sabine Christiansen on German public broadcaster
ARD, Clinton stressed the two countries' similarities. "We have the same values and interests," he said. On the subject of Iraq, the former president distanced himself from President George W. Bush, saying the United States should have given the U.N. weapons inspectors more time before launching a unilateral attack. As to Germany's stagnating economy, Clinton said the country should not overreact to the tough reforms put forth by Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. "Germany still has its best days ahead of it," he said and acknowledged that both unification and European integration had taken their toll on the country's economy, but that the world was indebted to Germany's contribution for world peace. "Germany was always on the right side of history in the last 15 years," he said. According to Clinton, Germany's primary focus for the future should be implementing a set of economic reforms that allow it to retain the positive aspects of its social contract which support the working class and families.