On way to G-8 summit, Bush thanks Denmark for participation in Iraq

500 Danish troops remain on duty despite misgivings

July 06, 2005|By Warren Vieth | Warren Vieth,LOS ANGELES TIMES

COPENHAGEN, Denmark - President Bush arrived in Copenhagen late yesterday to thank the Danish government for its continued participation in the Iraq war and reconstruction effort despite considerable opposition among Danes.

Denmark has about 570 troops in Iraq, most of them involved in training Iraqi security forces based in the southern part of the country. Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, like British Prime Minister Tony Blair, has resisted public pressure to withdraw military forces.

Recent surveys have shown a majority of Danes view Bush unfavorably, and authorities expected as many as 20,000 people to participate in a march through the capital today.

Shortly before Bush's arrival, his visit was mocked by a group of about 200 activists, many of them covering their heads with black hooded sweat shirts and wearing oversized sunglasses in apparent defiance of a Danish law forbidding protesters from covering their faces.

Bush was to meet with Rasmussen today and have lunch with Queen Margrethe II before heading to Scotland, for a summit with leaders from the Group of Eight industrial nations.

National Security Adviser Stephen J. Hadley told reporters aboard Air Force One yesterday that Bush hoped to convince G-8 leaders to address the contentious issue of climate change by linking it to energy development, poverty alleviation and other "interrelated" issues.

Hadley indicated that Bush was unlikely to make major concessions to those who want the United States to commit to considering limits on carbon dioxide and pollutants believed to contribute to global warming. The United States is the only G-8 member that refused to sign the Kyoto accord limiting greenhouse gas emissions.

But Hadley suggested the administration might accept wording of a G-8 communique that acknowledged global warming is occurring and that human activity is at least partly responsible.

He said representatives from G-8 member nations were still haggling over the possible language to be contained in a climate change statement.

The Los Angeles Times is a Tribune Publishing newspaper.

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