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Bush to push for more Iraq aid

Summit expected to back opposition to Iran's nuclear ambitions
Protesters gather in Vienna on Monday in advance of the visit by U.S. President George W. Bush.




VIENNA, Austria (CNN) -- U.S. President George W. Bush arrived in Vienna Tuesday night ahead of a summit Wednesday with European Union leaders, where he is expected to push for more international aid for the fledgling Iraqi government and continuation of a coordinated stand against Iran's nuclear program.

For their part, EU representatives are expected to push the U.S. leader to shut down the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, which comes under persistent criticism in Europe.

While in the Austrian capital, Bush will meet EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, Austrian President Heinz Fischer and Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel. Austria currently holds the EU's rotating presidency.

The U.S.-EU summit will not include the heads of other European governments.

Wednesday's meetings are a chance for Bush to demonstrate that the United States and its European allies are united when it comes to demanding that Iran suspend its nuclear enrichment and reprocessing activities -- or face possible sanctions imposed by the U.N. Security Council.

In May, the United States, in a tactical shift, said that if Iran suspended its nuclear program, American officials would join Germany, France and Britain in direct talks with the Tehran regime to try to negotiate a settlement.

If that happens, it will be the first direct diplomatic contact between the United States and Iran in more than 25 years.

Speaking to reporters en route to Vienna, U.S. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said U.S. officials were confident that their European counterparts were "pretty firm" in their stand that Iran suspend its nuclear activities.

"The framework is clear. What is missing is a positive Iranian response," he said. "And that's, of course, what we're looking for."

A week after Bush's surprise visit to Baghdad, the president will also raise the issue of fulfilling previous pledges of aid for Iraq's new unity government, totaling $13 billion, Hadley said.

"We will remind countries if they have forgotten about their pledges and the importance to get this money to this new government now," he said.

"The opportunity this government really has is to show the Iraqi people that it can make a difference in their daily lives. That will strengthen this government in a way as few things will."

Hadley declined to say which countries had not fulfilled their pledges, or whether any of them were European countries.

"If you go through the list, there are countries in every region of the world that have made pledges," he said.

Concern over Guantanamo

Guantanamo, where the U.S. military has been holding terror suspects rounded up in Afghanistan and Iraq, has become a controversial issue in Europe.

Many European leaders -- even some closely allied with the United States -- argue that the indefinite detention of suspects there violates human rights protections and is contrary to American ideals.

Bush has said he wants to close down Guantanamo eventually, but dangerous enemy combatants being held there cannot simply be released.

Administration officials say they are awaiting a Supreme Court decision about trying combatants in military courts before deciding Guantanamo's future.

After his meetings in Vienna, Bush will leave for Budapest, Hungary, where he will make a speech commemorating the 50th anniversary of an anti-Communist uprising that was crushed by Soviet troops in 1956.

Bush's comments there will likely be listened to closely by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin has expressed his displeasure with recent U.S. comments criticizing Moscow for "backsliding" on democracy.

CNN Correspondents Elaine Quijano and Suzanne Malveaux contributed to this report

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