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Old Europe becoming new Europe

June 1, 2007 at 9:44 AM

LOS ANGELES, June 1 (UPI) -- U.S experts on international relations hailed the new set of leaders taking over what former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld once called "old Europe."

Nicolas Sarkozy's election as French president, Angela Merkel's debut as German chancellor and Gordon Brown's expected succession as British prime minister are a positive development, experts told The Los Angeles Times.

"In many ways, the galaxy of international leaders has never been better for the United States," Erik Goldstein who heads the international relations department at Boston University, said to the Times.

Charles Kupchan, director of European studies at the Council on Foreign relations said there are now has leaders in Paris and Berlin who are pro-American and pragmatic.

"I don't want to suggest that we're out of the woods on the Atlantic relationship," Kupchan told the Times. "I think it's going to be very rocky. But rocky is better than where we've been, which is in the abyss."

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