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Europe

European Press Review: Washington Seeks Approval

European papers commented on Thursday on the Iraq resolution passed unanimously by the U.N. Security Council earlier in the week and the G-8 summit underway in Georgia.

France gave in at the United Nations, Le Monde in Paris wrote, adding that what the U.N. does is dictated by the United States. The fact that the 140,000 American soldiers currently in Iraq will remain there leaves little doubt about who’s going to run the country. France and Russia aren’t even represented in Iraq. However, the paper noted, Washington has started to come to the conclusion that it can’t continue to go it alone in the war-torn country if it wants to promote democracy, and that is a start in the right direction.

Le Figaro, also from the French capital, said sunny relations shown at the Security Council were short lived. The day after agreement on the Iraq resolution, France and the USA revealed their different opinions over the future of Iraq and the situation in Israel. Arguments continue behind the scenes over Iraq’s debt. Now the French and Americans are arguing about the role NATO can play there.

The Volkskrant in The Hague, Netherlands, took a different view, saying that without the Iraq resolution the transferal of power to the Iraqis set to take place at the end of June would

have been a disjointed affair. Now Iraqi sovereignty has solid backing from the international community, which means that those who oppose its legitimacy also attack Washington, Moscow, Paris and London in principle.

The Luxemburger Wort asserted that the new U.N. resolution is the first step for Iraq. But some of the main problems are yet to be solved, such as U.S. President George W. Bush side-stepping the U.N. last year before he went to war.

Moscow’s Nezavisimaya Gazeta noted that the compromise on the resolution came at a time when Bush's popularity is plummeting in the opinion polls in the run up to the November presidential elections. The victory is making things easier at the Group of Eight summit of world's leading countries now taking place in the United States. The paper said the Bush administration is using this propaganda success to further its ideas of reforming the Middle East and more regime changes.

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