Three days after his tough talk in a telephone conversation with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf, President George Bush cited "positive steps" by the Pakistani head.
Standing beside visiting Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel at his Texas ranch, Bush said there was no need for him to speak to Musharraf again. "He knows my position," Bush said.
The president noted that Musharraf has already said he would hold elections and take off his military uniform.
Asked whether he can trust the Pakistani leader to keep his word, Bush never actually said "yes," but did launch into a defense of Musharraf's cooperation in fighting terrorism.
The president said Musharraf chose after the Sept. 11 attacks to side with the United States in the war against terrorism. Bush apparently has decided that there is nothing to be gained by further criticism of the Pakistani strongman.
Bush's talks with the German leader produced some agreement on how to deal with any nuclear ambitions Iran may have.
Merkel surprised some observers by saying that if diplomatic efforts with Iran fail then "we need to think about further sanctions."
Speaking in her native language, the chancellor said she and President Bush will wait for further reports from United Nations inspectors and negotiators before deciding on a next step.
Merkel also indicated she may look at encouraging more German companies not to do business with Iran.
Last month, Bush said that if Iran gets nuclear weapons, it could possibly lead to World War Three. Some Europeans felt Bush had gone too far. Today, there was no mention of another world war.
Iran has continued with its nuclear enrichment program, and has ignored two U.N. sanctions. Tehran insists its program is strictly for nuclear power, not for weaponry.