NEW ORLEANS -- Vice President George Bush announced Tuesday he will travel to Poland and four European allied countries next month for talks with the leaders.
The trip, from Sept. 4 to Oct. 3, will also include stops in the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Belgium.
In a speech prepared for delivery before the 88th convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Bush said:
'Next month I will be going to Europe again -- to discuss the future of our alliance with the leaders of West Germany, France and Belgium. They are both our friends and our economic competitors.
'In planning the common defense of Europe,' he said, 'we must ensure that they carry their fair share of the load. And we must let them know that no new isolationism will ever cause us to pull back from NATO.'
'I will also be going to Poland to talk with their leaders as well,' he added, 'and to meet with the courageous members of Solidarity, who have caused the winds of change to blow in the land.'
The vice president added the United States faces challenges in dealing with a changing Soviet Union. He said Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev 'represents a generational change in the Soviet Union and the beginning of a new era in our relations.'
Speaking of Gorbachev, Bush said: 'He is an impressive man - self-confident, articulate and obviously intelligent. But he is no pussycat. He is an orthodox, committed Marxist, and he will be a formidable and determined competitor for world power.'