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G8 urged to leave Iraq differences behind

U.S. President George W. Bush told foreign ministers from seven key allies on Friday it was time to put past differences over Iraq behind them and work together for the country's future.
/ Source: Reuters

U.S. President George W. Bush told foreign ministers from seven key allies on Friday it was time to put past differences over Iraq behind them and work together for the country's future.

Bush, who engaged in a bitter debate with allies like France and Germany over whether to go to war against Iraq over alleged weapons of mass destruction, is seeking allied help as the U.S-led coalition in Baghdad plans to transfer sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government on June 30.

Bush met at the White House with foreign ministers from the Group of Seven major industrial nations plus Russia. The seven are the United States, Britain, Italy, Canada, France, Germany and Japan.

"He talked about putting aside past differences and all of us working together to help the Iraqi people realize a brighter future," White House spokesman Scott McClellan said.

"It is in all of our interests to make sure there is a free and peaceful Iraq," he said.

The United States and Britain are working on the draft of a U.N. Security Council resolution that would recognize the new Iraqi government. Washington hopes the resolution will lead to greater international participation in Iraq.

Bush's national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, is on a trip to Moscow and Berlin to talk to her counterparts about Iraq's future, including the new resolution.

McClellan said Bush told the foreign ministers that he looked forward to consultations aimed at producing the U.N. resolution.