The forthcoming meeting between Vladimir Putin and George Bush in Shanghai is in the highlight of US attention. According to the NBC TV company, after the September 11 acts of terrorism in New York and Washington, as well as in connection with the US-led operation against Afghanistan, the main agenda of the APEC leaders' summit this time will recede into the background. The world's attention will be focused on US President George Bush's meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and PRC Chairman Jian Zemin, believes NBC. The newspaper USA Today says that Bush sees his main task at the APEC summit in ensuring support and further consolidating the international anti-terror coalition, as well as discussing the problems of the world's economy and trade. Bush will also try to secure support for his unpopular plan to create an NMD system, points out the paper. The paper believes that international observers should attentively watch if the first signs of cracks appear in the friendly alliance between the Presidents of the USA and Russia who have already met on two occasions and have frequently spoken on the phone after the terror attack on the USA. The paper points out in this connection that Bush repeated at last Thursday's press-conference in Washington that he intends to create an NMD system, describing the Russian-American ABM Treaty as "outdated, antiquated and useless". Washington Post points out the same, noting Bush's words that the support received from Russia in combating terrorism had not affected his plans of withdrawing from the 1972 ABM Treaty and moving on to the creation of an NMD system. Bush said at the press conference that he intends to use the meeting with Vladimir Putin in Shanghai to once again set forth the United States' position, notes the paper. A number of American observers believe that the "anti-terror element" of Bush's negotiations with the APEC leaders will also contain a potentially sensitive subject. President Bush intends to inform the leaders of Russia, China and other Asian states that he supports their efforts in combating terrorism in their countries, but they should see the difference between legitimate dissatisfaction and real terrorism, without violating human rights at the same time, writes Los Angeles Times in this connection. However, while admitting possible "complicated" moments in the dialogue between the two Presidents, as well as in the dialogue between Bush and the Chinese leader, most American observers admit that the remaining differences will hardly affect the general atmosphere of the Shanghai meeting. It is much more important for the US President now, notes the ABC TV company, to demonstrate unity of the international anti-terror coalition and cooperation with Russia (and the PRC), than to accentuate world attention on some frictions. The New York Times believes that George Bush's meeting with Vladimir Putin will be "more symbolical," than directed to some concrete achievements on concrete problems. Informed White House sources emphasize in this connection that Bush had chosen as the finale of his stay at the Shanghai summit a joint press-conference with Vladimir Putin. The Russian President will be the only world leader, with whom the US President will be ready to reply to questions of the world media, points out the White House.
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