Attorney General John Ashcroft (search) arrived Tuesday in Berlin as part of a European farewell trip for talks about fighting terrorism, the German Justice Ministry said.

Ashcroft met with Justice Minister Brigitte Zypries (search) and other German officials to discuss sharing information in terrorist prosecutions, among other topics, said ministry spokeswoman Eva Schmierer.

Information sharing is a contentious issue.

A court in Hamburg is pressing for the United States to allow it access to key Al Qaeda suspects who may have evidence critical to the retrial of a suspect in the Sept. 11, 200program. U.S. officials want the man to testify at the Virginia trial of terror suspect Zacarias Moussaoui (search).

Ashcroft is stepping down next year and will leave the department as soon as his nominated successor, White House counsel Alberto Gonzales, is confirmed by the Senate.

He is on a short European trip that started Monday night in the Czech Republic and will take him on to Warsaw, Brussels, London and Madrid.

In addition to Zypries, he was also meeting with Germany's top security official, Interior Minister Otto Schily, whom he met with in 2001 when visiting Berlin.