US President George W. Bush heads to this year's Group of Eight summit determined to block binding cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions, leaving him isolated among other rich nation leaders who favour stronger action on global warming.
On a European trip that in the Czech Republic and ends in Bulgaria, Bush also wants to show resolve in rebuffing Russian objections to US plans for a missile defence system in Eastern Europe.
Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin will have a chance to talk at the three-day G8 summit, which starts Wednesday in the German seaside resort of Heiligendamm. Leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan are also attending.
His standing undercut by the war in Iraq, Bush used the pre-summit week to move ahead on burning humanitarian issues and to douse a crisis at the World Bank.
He imposed new economic sanctions on Sudan for obstructing a larger peacekeeping force for Darfur and urged the US Congress to triple funding for a global anti-AIDS campaign to $45 billion. He also proposed veteran diplomat Robert Zoellick to replace former Iraq war planner Paul Wolfowitz as the World Bank president.
But while European Union leaders have been willing - even eager - to set aside trans-Atlantic divisions over Iraq, ordinary Europeans' view of Bush remains largely negative.
"The relationship is better, the atmospherics are good. But just beneath the surface there are still huge differences of opinion on fundamental policy issues," said Charles Kupchan, a Europe expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, a US think tank.
Bush's pre-summit proposal for 10 to 15 countries that blast the most greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to join forces on cutting emissions was widely dismissed in the EU as too little, too late.
It was as far as Bush would go to help out German Chancellor Angela Merkel, this year's G8 president and his stronPage: 1 2 3 Related medicine news :1
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