Bush Opens European Swing With Call For Restoring Trans-Atlantic Unity

President Bush has begun a week-long European visit with a ringing call to restore trans-Atlantic unity after the rupture over Iraq.

He's also urging the European allies to give "tangible political, economic and security" aid to Iraq's fledgling democracy.

The remarks come in a speech Bush will give this morning at a 19th-century concert hall in Brussels.

Earlier, Bush paid courtesy calls on Belgian leaders. He's also got meetings today with NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (yahp dee hohp SKEHF'-ur) and French President Jacques Chirac (zhahk shih-RAHK'), his leading Iraq War critic.

In excerpts of his speech released by the White House, Bush dismisses Iraq as a "passing disagreement." And he calls for a "new era of trans-Atlantic unity."

However, a coalition of anti-war and environmental groups plans protests.

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