U.S. seeks more help for Iraq from Germany's new government

The United States is seeking more help for Iraq from Germany's new government as well as closer cooperation on hot spots including Iran and Afghanistan, a senior U.S. official said Monday. Daniel Fried, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, said the government change in Berlin was a chance to move beyond U.S.-German differences over Iraq under outgoing Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

"We hope Germany will be able to continue the direction it has gone and do even more to support the Iraqi government and the emerging democratic institutions in Iraq," Fried told reporters during a day of talks with German officials.

Fried said Washington hoped Germany, which is helping train Iraqi security forces outside the violence-plagued country, would provide more help through "various channels."

He said that did not include offering combat troops, but declined to be more specific.

The German parliament is expected to elect leader Angela Merkel as Schroeder's successor on Nov. 22. Merkel is to head a coalition of her conservatives and Schroeder's Social Democrats which is pledging to seek a "close, trusting relationship" with Washington, reports the AP. I.L.

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