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Germany Agrees to Back U.S. in Stabilizing Iraq

The two leaders met Wednesday as part of the U.N. General Assembly session in New York and agreed to work together to stabilize Iraq.

“We’ve had differences and they’re over,” Mr. Bush told reporters with Schroeder at his side.

“Indeed we very much feel that the differences … have been left behind,” Schroeder added.

In an apparent break with his former fellow war opponent French President Jacque Chirac, the German leader said he would help the United States by training Iraqi security forces. Germany already has pledged $57 million in humanitarian aid in Iraq.

“I have told the president how very much we would like to come in and help with the resources that we do have,” Schroeder said. “We very much envisage that we will assist and supply training for the security forces and police functions or be it some form of military function.”

The German announcement came a day after President Bush asked U.N. member nations for financial support and troops to aid in postwar efforts in Iraq. During his speech to the U.N. General Assembly, he encouraged countries to help rebuild Iraq and Afghanistan.

Chirac has refused to aid the United States without an aggressive timeline in place to transfer authority over Iraq to the Iraqi Governing Council. In a speech following President Bush’s on Tuesday, Chirac denounced U.S. Iraq policy and criticized Bush for going to war unilaterally without international support.

“The war, launched without the authorization of the Security Council, shook the multilateral system,” he said. “The United Nations has just been through one of the most grave crises in its history.”

Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and Indian Prime Minister Atal Behair Vajpayee also asked for greater U.N. involvement before agreeing to commit troops.

Also on Wednesday, Schroeder said Germany, a rotating member of the U.N. Security Council, would back a U.S.-proposed U.N. resolution supporting an expanded multinational force in Iraq.

The resolution would give the United Nations a more expanded role in the postwar country, but according to President Bush, would not give “premature sovereignty” to the Iraqi people. The White House has not announced when the resolution will be put forward, though the president has authorized Secretary of State Colin Powell to begin drafting it.

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