Bush to do damage control at G8

July 5, 2005 at 1:25 PM

WASHINGTON, July 5 (UPI) -- President Bush's primary mission at this week's Group of 8 summit is damage control and mending fences with European leaders, the Baltimore Sun reports.

Charles Kupchan, of Georgetown University and the Council on Foreign Relations said that the president's aim is "to prevent a bust-up -- to avoid a sense that the United States is isolated."

British Prime Minister Tony Blair is the host for the meeting, which begins Wednesday at Gleneagles, one of the world's premier golf resorts, 40 miles from Edinburgh, Scotland. Blair wants the meeting to focus on aid to Africa and global warming, while Iraq is at the top of the president's agenda.

Vance Serchuk of the American Enterprise Institute said Bush does not expect much help on Iraq.

"At this point, I don't think there's really anyone who thinks the Europeans are going to be riding to our rescue in Iraq," Serchuk said. "It has faded from the G8 agenda."

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