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Rice On Transatlantic Relations

The following is an editorial reflecting the views of the United States government:

In a foreign policy address in Paris, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, the U.S. and Europe should now put aside differences over Iraq:

"It is time to open a new chapter in our relationship and a new chapter in our alliance. America stands ready to work with Europe on our common agenda and Europe must stand ready to work with America. After all, history will surely judge us not by our old disagreements but by our new achievements."

The best hope for progress is the spread of freedom under the rule of law. This challenge is no less daunting than the challenge that Europe and the U.S. faced during the Cold War, said Ms. Rice:

"The same bold vision and moral courage and determined leadership will be required if we are again to prevail over oppression and intimidation and intolerance. Our charge is clear, we on the right side of freedom's divide have an obligation to help those unlucky enough to have been born on the wrong side of that divide."

Brave individuals like Lech Walesa, leader of Poland's Solidarity union, helped bring about the defeat of Communism. The protests of ordinary East Germans helped bring down the Berlin Wall in 1989. Yet ultimately, the liberation of Central and Eastern Europe from domination by the old Soviet Union would not have been achieved without the full support of the free nations of the West.

Secretary of State Rice said the U.S. and Europe should move beyond "a partnership based on common threats" and focus instead on a partnership based on "common opportunities, beyond the trans-Atlantic community." The U.S. and Europe must support home-grown reform in the broader Middle East and North Africa, build on successful elections in Afghanistan and Iraq, and work together in pursuit of peace in the Middle East.

"Time and again in our shared history," said Secretary Rice, "Americans and Europeans have enjoyed our greatest successes, for ourselves and for others, when we refuse to accept an unacceptable status quo but instead put to work our common values to work for the cause of freedom."