President Bush and German Chancellor Helmut Kohl on Saturday renewed commitments for speedy completion of world trade talks in a wide-ranging meeting that also focused on troubles in former Soviet states and Eastern Europe, a spokesman said.
The two leaders, meeting informally in the snowy Maryland countryside, "reviewed the status" of the thorny negotiations between the United States and European Community nations on trade, said White House spokesman Bill Harlow.They "agreed to give them their full support with the aim of completing the round as soon as possible," he said.
He did not elaborate on any specifics of the discussion, but Kohl earlier had played down reports that he was bringing ideas to break the logjam between the United States and European negotiators over agriculture in the ongoing Geneva talks.
"After all, we're not going to have a formal negotiation here," Kohl said as he and Bush spoke briefly to reporters after his helicopter arrival at the hillside presidential retreat.
The two leaders planned to hold a news conference Sunday after returning to Washington.
Harlow said they discussed the U.S. role in Europe, with a "complete meeting of the minds" on the need for continued U.S. military presence.
They also stressed the importance of supporting democratic reforms in the former Soviet states and Eastern European nations through international financial institutions and coordinated efforts among the world's leading industrial nations.
Other topics included the Middle East, Iraq, Magreb, Yugoslavia and the environment, Harlow said, adding that he had no details.
On trade, he said there were "good discussions" and a commitment for rapid progress in Geneva. But he said "there was never intention to reach agreement" at Camp David on the complicated trade issues.