Jeb Bush to call for closer ties with Europe in Berlin speech

   < < Go Back
from FoxNews,

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will call for the U.S. to deepen economic ties with Europe in his first major foreign policy speech as a presumptive presidential candidate Tuesday in Berlin.

Bush, who has said he will formally announce a decision about his political future June 15, will also call for a tougher policy toward Russia and its President Vladimir Putin.

The speech to the economic conference of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union party comes one day after President Obama wrapped up a two-day trip to Germany for the G-7 meeting at a Bavarian resort. During the meeting, Obama and Merkel displayed their personal affection — she called him “dear Barack” — and pledged to continue the two nations’ close ties and joint diplomatic projects.

Germany is the U.S.’s strongest European trading partner, and the two countries work closely on a host of diplomatic issues, including the ongoing civil war in Ukraine and negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program. But Bush advisers told the Associated Press he believes Obama has ceded to Germany too much of the diplomatic burden in Europe for winning approval for sanctions against Russia for its backing of pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine — a difficult task, given Russia’s deep economic relationships on the continent.

“Seventy years after America and Western Europe began to build the post-[World War II] architecture of security, that alliance is as relevant as the day it was founded,” the former governor says in remarks prepared for delivery Tuesday. “Ukraine, a sovereign European nation, must be permitted to choose its own path. Russia must respect the sovereignty of all of its neighbors. … Our alliance, our solidarity and our actions are essential if we want to preserve the fundamental principles of our international order.”

More From FoxNews: