I'm not sure how much weight to give these reports. This news seems to be coming from European and not US sources (and being reported only by certain European media). It may be that the draft language means one thing to the Europeans and another thing to the Americans who are putting it together -- and, after all, the draft language described here might not be the final version that everyone agrees to.
"US Vows to Respect Human Rights in Terrorism Fight" - AFP (Vienna), 21 June 2006
VIENNA (AFP) - US President George W. Bush sits down with the 25-nation European Union at a summit expected to show the two sides closing ranks over respecting human rights while fighting terror.
Unprecedented security measures were in place for Bush's 24-hour visit to Vienna, with police lining key roads in the Austrian capital.
Bush is set to pledge that the United States will respect human rights in his war on terror, according to the draft of a final statement for the EU-US summit Wednesday that comes with Europeans complaining about US treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
Bush was greeted upon arriving in Vienna Tuesday by Austrian Chancellor and current European Union President Wolfgang Schuessel, who had earlier in the day said: "We can't have an area where law does not apply," referring to the US camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where hundreds of terror suspects have been held without charge.
European governments and rights groups have called on the United States to shut down Guantanamo for detaining inmates in legal limbo.
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 read to AFP.
The text does not specifically mention Guantanamo, which the United States insists is needed in the war against terror.
But it appears to show that the EU and the United States will be seeking in Vienna to paper over their differences, in a movement of reconciliation that has continued since the two sides bickered deeply over the US invasion of Iraq in 2003....
"Bush 'Will Respect Human Rights' in War on Terror," by Nicholas Watts - the Guardian (UK), 21 June 2006
George Bush is on Wednesday expected to agree at an EU-US summit in Vienna to a joint declaration to respect human rights in the fight against terrorism.
The declaration will say that all countries must observe international law as they fight terrorism.
European diplomats welcomed the declaration as a sign that Washington is heeding EU concerns about what are perceived as heavy-handed tactics by America as it tackles al-Qaida across the world and the Taliban in Afghanistan.
But there is no mention by name of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility and rendition flights in which the CIA has flown al-Qaida suspects across Europe. The White House believes the flights are legal and it is making clear that it will decide what to do with Guantánamo Bay on its own terms.
A draft copy of the statement, seen by the Guardian, 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 on our common fight against terrorism and our respective domestic and international legal obligations."...
Added 22 June:
"Bush Tells Europeans He Wants to Shut Guantanamo," by Tabassum Zakaria (in Vienna) - the Washington Post, 21 June 2006
VIENNA (Reuters) - President George W. Bush, seeking to reassure Europeans over the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, said on Wednesday that he wanted eventually to shut the prison and send inmates back to their home countries.
Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel said Europeans were calling for the closure of Guantanamo Bay, but they had also received a commitment "no torture, no extraordinary or extraterritorial positions to deal with the terrorists."...
"I'd like to end Guantanamo. I'd like it to be over with," Bush said at a news conference after talks with European Union leaders. "One of the things we will do is we'll send people back to their home countries." He gave no time frame....
Pres. Bush made a similar statement in an interview with ARD German television in May. See Bush Tells German Audience, 'I Would Very Much Like to End Guantanamo.'
"Guantanamo Must Close, Bush Tells EU," by Stephen Castle (in Brussels) - the Independent (UK), 22 June 2006
George Bush is seeking to overcome European hostility to US foreign policy by acknowledging the divisions caused by invading Iraq, and saying he wants to close Guantanamo Bay. But the US president rejected as "absurd" opinion poll findings which show that the European public sees the US as a danger to world peace.
At an EU summit in Vienna yesterday, Mr Bush also accused Iran of dragging its feet on a Western incentive package aimed at getting Tehran to suspend uranium enrichment activity. Asked about an Iranian promise to respond to the offer in mid-August, he replied: "It shouldn't take the Iranians that long to analyse what's a reasonable deal."
Mr Bush sought to highlight transatlantic co-operation on issues such as Iran. But he also acknowledged the depth of European concerns about the 460 detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, and gave the clearest indication yet how the camp could be emptied.
He said: "I'd like to end Guantanamo, I'd like it to be over with." But he added that "there are some who need to be tried in US courts. They're cold-blooded killers. They will murder somebody if they're let out on the street."...
Mr Bush, whose arrival in Vienna was greeted by 6,000 protesters, reacted angrily when asked about European perceptions of the US. In a Harris poll, 36 per cent of 5,000 people interviewed in five EU countries described the US as a greater threat than Iran or China. "Absurd that's my statement ", said the President when asked about the findings, "we will defend ourselves but, at the same time, we are working with our partners to spread peace and democracy".
Mr Schüssel supported Mr Bush, describing the poll results as " grotesque", and adding that Europeans "should be fair from the other side of the Atlantic. We should understand what 11 September meant to the American people"....
"Bush Replies Angrily to European Criticism," by Jim Gerstenzang and Alissa J. Rubin (in Vienna) - the Los Angles Times, 22 June 2006
VIENNA — President Bush responded angrily Wednesday to Europe's differing views over the war in Iraq and the U.S. treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, even as he won renewed expressions of unity from the European Union on nuclear nonproliferation.
European leaders at a U.S.-EU summit here reaffirmed the need to halt Iran's uranium enrichment program and to contain North Korea's arms program.
With surveys showing a growing animosity in Europe toward the United States amid fears that its anti-terrorism policies and the Iraq war are endangering global stability, the president lashed out during a news conference, raising his voice and several times using the word "absurd" to describe the criticism....
One reporter told the president that despite the behavior of Iran and North Korea, "most consider the United States the biggest threat to global stability." Bush responded: "That's absurd…. We'll defend ourselves, but at the same time, we're actively working with our partners to spread peace and democracy. So whoever says that is — it's an absurd statement."
Moments later, when asked whether the United States was promoting or hindering world peace, Bush said: "I thought it was absurd for people to think that we're more dangerous than Iran. We're a transparent democracy. People know exactly what's on our mind. We debate things in the open. We've got a legislative process that's active."...
Bush and Schuessel offered differing accounts of their private Guantanamo discussion: The president said Schuessel raised it; the chancellor said Bush did.
The chancellor said of Bush: "He came up and said, 'Look, this is my problem, this is where we are. And I think we should be fair from the other side of the Atlantic. We should understand … what Sept. 11 meant to the American people. It was a shock.' "
Bush's willingness to confront the criticism on this trip could end up winning him points among Europeans if he follows through, experts said. Already political pundits are taking a more open view toward his administration, largely because the U.S. has recently been working with Europe on Iran rather than going it largely alone, as it did on Iraq.
"There's a very popular anti-Americanism from the left to the right which doesn't look at the facts," said Armin Turnher, editor in chief of Falter, a respected weekly political and cultural magazine.
"But now most of the opinion leaders are saying, 'Let's look at the reality,' and the reality is that American foreign policy has changed from what it was a couple of years ago. The Americans are not talking about war with Iran, they are working on diplomacy," Turnher said.
Still, the U.S. will be able to begin to regain credibility only if Bush follows through on a previously stated intention to eventually close Guantanamo.
"If he follows it with actions, then it could begin to make a difference. The broader population doesn't change its mind with one visit, but it could be a step," said Christoph Hofinger of Vienna-based Sora Institute, which surveys European attitudes....
This seems to be the final, published text of the agreement whose draft language was discussed in the news items at the top of this post. I'm not sure it amounts to a newsworthy change in US policy. US officials have repeatedly argued that we're not doing anything counter to international law as we interpret it.
"US-EU Summit Declaration: Promoting Peace, Human Rights and Democracy Worldwide" - press release, the White House, 21 June 2006
...Since no single nation can efficiently and effectively deal with global challenges such as climate change, counter-terrorism, non-proliferation, pandemics and natural disasters on its own, we commit ourselves to strengthening our cooperation to address these challenges.
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 on our common fight against terrorism and our respective domestic and international legal obligations....