US President George W Bush will pledge to respect human rights in his war on terror, according to the draft of a final statement prepared for an EU-US summit on Wednesday, amid complaints from the Europeans about US treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
The draft of the joint statement by Bush and European Union leaders says, "Consistent with our common values, we will ensure that measures taken to combat terrorism comply fully with our international obligations, including human rights law, refugee law and international humanitarian law."
"We attach great importance to our ongoing in-depth dialogue and our common fight against terrorism and our respected domestic and international legal obligations," according to extracts of the text.
The text does not specifically mention Guantanamo, which the United States insists is needed in the "war on terror."
But it appears to show that the EU and the United States will be seeking at the summit in Vienna to paper over their differences, the latest in their efforts to achieve reconciliation since they bickered bitterly over the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Bush was greeted on his arrival in Vienna on Tuesday by Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schessel, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the 25-nation EU. Earlier in the day Schessel had said of Guantanamo, "We can't have an area where law does not apply."