Europe Wants to Cooperate Closely with Obama The European Union is seeking a close working relationship with US President-elect Barack Obama, but it wants to do so with equal footing. In a strategy paper developed by EU foreign ministers, Europe says it is ready for closer cooperation on a number of difficult issues. The proposal is seven pages long and states: "The world order has changed. In it, the Europeans want to play their role alongside the Americans." The plan, created under the auspices of the European Union rotating presidency of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, is to be discreetly delivered to the Obama team. According to information obtained by SPIEGEL, it has four central areas where closer cooperation is foreseen: Reform of the United Nations and the G-8, the conflicts in the Middle East and Afghanistan/Pakistan as well as the approach to Russia. On those issues, the Europeans are seeking equal footing with the Americans. "We have to work with each other and not against each other," the document states. "Americans and Europeans must and can complement each other and take care of common responsibilities together," the paper, which also has German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier's stamp on it, states. It also says the Europeans want to more strongly pursue talks with Syria together with America and that Europe will "immediately reengage in Iraq." In dealing with Russia, the European leaders call for broader cooperation and for reserve in criticism of Moscow's behavior in the Georgia conflict. "Isolating Russia is not an option," the EU foreign ministers warn the US. They also declare a fundamental preparedness to participate in international military missions. Legal or technical "difficulties during interventions," the paper states, "are not an excuse for not acting." dsl/spiegel link ---------------------- What do you think? Is this the great chance to unite America and Europe again, after there has been disagreement and resentment over Iraq and many other issues? Obviously, Europe now reaches out to America again. That's a great gesture, I think.