Bush wishes Chirac 'all the best'

12th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

BOGOTA, March 11, 2007 (AFP) - US President George W. Bush wished French President Jacques Chirac, whose refusal to support the Iraq war had cooled US-French relations, "all the best" after Chirac announced he would not seek another term, the White House said on Sunday.

BOGOTA, March 11, 2007 (AFP) - US President George W. Bush wished French President Jacques Chirac, whose refusal to support the Iraq war had cooled US-French relations, "all the best" after Chirac announced he would not seek another term, the White House said on Sunday.

"President Bush wishes President Chirac all the best as he enters life after politics. The United States and France have been and will remain steadfast partners and allies," White House national security council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said in Colombia, where Bush was on a Latin American tour.

Chirac announced Sunday in a televised address that he will not stand for a new term in the country's presidential elections next month.

"At the end of the mandate you have conferred on me, the moment will have come for me to serve you in a different fashion. I will not ask for your votes for a new mandate," said Chirac, who has served 12 years as president.  

Chirac's announcement means he will leave politics on May 16 after a career of more than 40 years.

His outspoken opposition to the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 triggered a bitter diplomatic feud with Washington. Despite the chill, the two countries have since cooperated when it comes to addressing the crisis in Lebanon and Iran's disputed nuclear program.

His stand on Iraq earned him record-high approval ratings at home and he was cheered in the Arab world for standing up to Bush.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, President Jacques Chirac

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