Bush, Medvedev agree on Iran, N.Korea”s nuke programs


Toyako, Japan : US President George W. Bush and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev agreed Monday on the need to urge Iran and North Korea to abandon their nuclear programs, but failed to narrow their differences over the US plans for a European-based missile shield.

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On the sidelines of the Group of Eight (G-8) summit at Lake Toya in Hokkaido, northern Japan, the two leaders met for the first time since Medvedev succeeded Vladimir Putin as president in May.

“There are topics on which we agree, such as Iran and North Korea,” Medvedev told reporters after his meeting with American leader. “But then, certainly, there are others with respect to the missile shield and European affairs where we have differences. We would like to agree on these matters as well,” he said.

“What is really important is that the dialogue is there, and there is a commonality on the overview of various things between us,” he added.

Washington wants to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar facility in the neighboring Czech Republic by 2011-13 in order to “protect the US and its European allies from threats from so-called “rogue states” such as Iran.

For his part, Bush told reporters, “While there are some areas of disagreement, there are also areas where I know we can work together for the common good.

“Iran is an area where Russia and the US have worked closely in the past and will continue to work closely to convince the regime to give up its desire to enrich uranium,” he said.

Both Medvedev and Bush are participating in the three-day G-8 summit, at which global warming and sky-rocketing oil and food prices dominate the agenda.

The G-8 groups Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, and the US.