Chirac 'will not snubBlair's G8 meeting'
19 June 2005, PARIS (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac will attend all of the three-day G8 summit next month in Scotland, contrary to British press reports that affirmed he would miss the first day in a snub to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French officials said Sunday.
19 June 2005
PARIS (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac will attend all of the three-day G8 summit next month in Scotland, contrary to British press reports that affirmed he would miss the first day in a snub to British Prime Minister Tony Blair, French officials said Sunday.
The French leader "has no intention of not attending the beginning of the G8 meeting," a spokesman for Chirac said.
Items on the summit's agenda, development aid and fighting climate change, "are subjects of high importance" for Chirac, who was "determined to do everything so that the G8 allows decisive progress" in these areas, he said.
The confirmation of Chirac's presence at the July 6-8 Group of Eight summit hosted by Blair contradicted reports in British newspapers which claimed that the French president would duck the meeting's beginning to get "revenge" on the British prime minister following the pair's bitter fall-out at the European Union summit this week.
The Mail on Sunday said Chirac would "shun the first 24 hours of the G8 meeting", something an unnamed British government source told the paper was an irritation.
The papers said that Chirac planned to stay in Singapore for the International Olympic Committee's announcement on July 6 of which city will host the 2012 Summer Games, a race for which London and Paris are the front-runners.
Chirac's office did not confirm whether the president would make the trip for the Olympic announcement. Blair will be in Singapore, but plans to leave before the decision is announced so as to be back in Britain in time for the start of the summit.
Blair and Chirac are engaged in a tit-for-tat public scuffle triggered by the EU summit Thursday and Friday in which they exchanged bitter words over the EU budget. Each has sought to present himself as a spokesman for all of Europe while accusing the other of stubbornness and selfishness.
Subject: French News