GIVING a group hug to the whole of Europe is a task which President George W Bush has risen to with aplomb. He embraced the former "axis of weasels", broke bread with the French and cracked jokes for everyone.
TO WALK the streets of Brussels’s Schumann district yesterday was to risk drowning in the tide of cheery optimism, mutual forgiveness and all-round goodwill that swept the city’s European quarter. The bad man over the sea had come to town, but instead of bringing thunder, he offered cookies; derided by Europe’s intelligentsia as an illiterate cowboy, Mr Bush even quoted Camus.
IN THE realms of international diplomacy - thankfully - positions are rarely frozen for all time. So the positive rhetoric being used by President Bush on his trip to Europe deserves special attention. Towards a Europe that has often been highly critical of his administration, Mr Bush is being especially conciliatory. He argues, correctly, that "no passing disagreement" should divide the US and Europe, whose friendship is vital for world peace and prosperity.
AN ALLIANCE of 88 environmental, human rights and peace groups gathered outside the United States embassy in Brussels yesterday, to protest against the visit by George Bush.
US President George W Bush today called for "a new era of transatlantic unity" and claimed Europe and America could never be divided as he tried to build bridges in the wake of the Iraq war.
US PRESIDENT George W Bush yesterday told how he fooled a coach-load of fellow Texans into believing he was a Scottish shepherd.
IF it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium - that is the inevitable jibe the anti-American chatterati will direct against President Bush when he arrives in Brussels this week to visit the institutions of the European Union. Even after his landslide election victory last year, they continue to underestimate George Bush.
A YEAR ago, the prospect of George Bush and Jacques Chirac sitting down for dinner à deux would have seemed remote indeed. Yet the two presidents will meet in Brussels tomorrow, in between Bush’s croissants with Tony Blair and handshakes with Vladimir Putin.