George Bush pays a great deal of attention to his forthcoming meeting with Vladimir Putin in Shanghai. A statement to this effect was made by Condoleezza Rice, special assistant to the U.S. president for national security affairs, in an exclusive interview to the Izvestia daily to be published Monday. In her words, the Shanghai meeting will assert what we call the spirit of Genoa and Ljubljana. There's no doubt, she said, that the two leaders will discuss all the key issues of bilateral relations. Condoleezza Rice believes that both Bush and Putin truly want to build a new concept of inter-state relations, not in words, but in deeds now. She noted that this work had been carried out successfully before September 11th, but the tragic events of that day had given a new and very powerful impetus to our bilateral relations. Condoleezza Rice underscored that our two countries had been brought closer together by the common concern about the threat of international terrorism. As she said, this theme will certainly be given priority at the Shanghai meeting. According to Condoleezza Rice, the presidents of the United States and Russia will also discuss the strengthening of their economic relations, the situation in various regions of the world and non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons. Condoleezza Rice is convinced that "on all these issues our bilateral relations have been changing for the better before our very eyes." She stressed that although President George Bush shortened his stay in Shanghai, he didn't change the agenda and the length of his talks with President Vladimir Putin. When touching on Vladimir Putin's forthcoming visit to the United States, Rice said that it would take place according to plan. As she said, the Russian president will have many interesting and important meetings in Washington.
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