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Kohl warns U.S. against ruling world ''like Romans''
BERLIN, April 3 Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl criticised U.S. leaders on Thursday for dreaming of ruling the world like Roman emperors, but laid blame on both sides of the Atlantic for the deep rifts over Iraq.



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       Kohl, chancellor for 16 years and long a staunch ally of successive presidents from Ronald Reagan to Bill Clinton, said U.S. government officials had made a series of serious blunders in their dealings with European leaders during the Iraq crisis.
       ''Those in Washington who dream about themselves being the new Rome and that the world will dance to their tune are out of touch with reality,'' Kohl, 73, told the conservative Die Welt newspaper in a rare swipe at the United States.
       ''The idea of a 'pax Americana' where we are all lined up in formation is out of the question,'' said Kohl, chancellor from 1982 to 1998 and among the most pro-U.S. leaders in Europe.
       ''The multipolar world has developed in recent years -- look at Russia, China, India, Indonesia, South America and Europe, to name just a few regions.''
       Kohl had harsh words for leaders on both sides of the Atlantic.
       ''Some representatives of the American government have made a long series of psychological mistakes, no doubt about it,'' he said. ''Europeans have their sensibilities and Washington didn't pay enough attention to that. Comments from some ministers in Washington about an 'old Europe' are as foolish as comments from some Europeans about a 'Texas cowboy shooting from the hip'.''
       He criticised his successor Gerhard Schroeder for ''never being a friend of America'' and over his anti-war stance.
       Kohl said he would have supported the U.S. position and would have tried to forge a common European stance if still chancellor.
       ''The Americans' view of Europe and the Europeans' view of America are sometimes really stupid,'' Kohl said.
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