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Published:February 2nd, 2006 07:08 EST
Deputy Secretary Zoellick to Travel

Deputy Secretary Zoellick to Travel

By Leon (Producer) Leon

U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert B. Zoellick will travel to France and Germany February 3 - 5 to have consultations with officials in Paris and to participate in the annual Munich Security Conference.

Deputy Secretary Zoellick will be in France February 3 to discuss a range of political, security and economic issues.

"France is an important partner. I look forward to learning more from our French colleagues about how we can build on our cooperation and advance our shared interests around the world," said Deputy Secretary Zoellick.

On February 4 and 5, the Deputy Secretary will attend the Munich Security Conference. The theme of this year’s conference is "Europe and the United States: Restoring the Transatlantic Partnership." U.S. Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld will also participate in the conference. Deputy Secretary Zoellick will discuss global security challenges, how the U.S. and its allies can face those challenges, and Germany and Europe’s evolving roles. On Sunday morning, February 5, he will take part in a panel discussion with Russian Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on "Russia, Europe, and the World - Prospects for Cooperation on Global Security Issues."

"With discussions ranging from NATO’s transformation to the increasing importance of energy security and counterterrorism, the Munich Security Conference offers an excellent forum in which participants will review the strategic security landscape. Germany and Europe face new security challenges in the coming years, and the United States will work closely with our friends and allies to meet these challenges," said Deputy Secretary Zoellick. "I’m pleased that Chancellor Merkel and her colleagues have begun exploring ways to expand German and European involvement in promoting freedom and peace around the world."

The Deputy Secretary’s visit to Germany is a follow up to his trip to Berlin, November 30-December 1, 2005, and Chancellor Angela Merkel’s first U.S. visit January 12-13.