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Germany

Schröder Welcomes Rice, Calls for US to Listen

German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has welcomed the appointment of Condoleezza Rice as the new US secretary of state with a call for the United States to listen closer to its allies. Schröder was a fierce opponent of the US-led war in Iraq and he said that the United States "would now recognize that you can certainly win a war alone, but not the peace, and that as a consequence they should discuss with greater care than ever before with partners who must be available at all times to talk." In an advance copy of an interview with Thursday's Die Welt newspaper, Schröder said he would miss Rice's predecessor Colin Powell, "but I am delighted to be working with Condoleezza Rice." Schröder dismissed suggestions that Germany was relieved by President George W. Bush's re-election, because the Democratic contender John Kerry might have asked for Germany to engage in postwar efforts in Iraq. "We had no particular wishes or expectations regarding the American elections, not even in secret," Schröder said. Even if Kerry had won, "we wouldn't have acted any differently on the issue of Iraq." Germany has refused to send troops to Iraq. (AFP)

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