German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder on Wednesday welcomed US President George W. Bush's praise for Berlin's contribution to Iraqi reconstruction saying they shared the goal of a stable Iraq. "What is important is that there is a stable and democratic Iraq," Schröder's spokesman Bela Anda told reporters in reaction to Bush's televised address Tuesday. "It is crucial that the political process -- and in particular the constitutional process -- move forward in Iraq and that there is the greatest possible inclusion of all societal groups." Anda added that Schröder, who was a fierce opponent of the US-led invasion, was pleased Bush had underscored Germany's "positive contribution to the reconstruction of Iraq" and said that
the differences between Washington and Berlin had been overcome as evidenced by Schröder's talks with Bush this week. Anda noted that although Germany continued to rule out sending troops to Iraq, it was training Iraqi security forces in the United Arab Emirates, supporting the set-up of democratic institutions and forgiving 4.7 billion euros ($5.7 billion) of the country's debt. In the speech at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, Bush acknowledged worries about the insurgency in Iraq but rejected calls for sending reinforcements or setting a deadline to bring US troops home.