The US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, has called on European nations to look beyond their differences with the US over Iraq and respond positively to American overtures to improve transatlantic relations.

Ahead of a meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels today, Mr Powell said the US and Europe had a shared responsibility to respond to new global threats and challenges and to promote democracy.

The US is looking for European NATO members to contribute more troops to Afghanistan.

Speaking in Brussels last night, Mr Powell publicly emphasised Washington's desire to mend fences with Europe.