Sarkozy says in America, 'France is back'

17th August 2007, Comments 0 comments

WOLFEBORO, New Hampshire, Aug 17, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday at the end of his US vacation that France is popular again in the United States and hailed the countries' "terrific" relationship.

WOLFEBORO, New Hampshire, Aug 17, 2007 (AFP) - French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Thursday at the end of his US vacation that France is popular again in the United States and hailed the countries' "terrific" relationship.

"France is back, there are no problems between France and the United States, or between the French people and the American people," said Sarkozy on the eve of his departure from a two-week family holiday in New Hampshire.

"And that is terrific," he added. "That doesn't mean there are no disagreements. We will have disagreements," said the French leader.

While on his vacation Sarkozy spoke last week with US President George W. Bush to firm up the countries' bond after several years of tense relations.
  
The leaders met at the Bush family residence in Kennebunkport, Maine, and dined on an American picnic lunch of hot dogs and hamburgers, though Sarkozy's wife Cecilia bowed out at the last minute citing a throat ailment.

She was seen out walking the next day but the apparent snub got little play in US media.

Differences over the war in Iraq in 2003 had distanced the United States from France under Sarkozy's predecessor, former president Jacques Chirac.

Sarkozy said strong US-French ties are all the more important because "the United States is soon heading into an election cycle" and will be choosing "a new team to govern."

He summed up his US vacation as "fantastic" and praised Americans for being "very nice."

"We did some exercise, took walks, relaxed as a family, it was wonderful,"said Sarkozy, 52, adding he "would have liked to have had the opportunity to come here when I was young."

"Americans were very warm with my family and me, we saw it multiple times," Sarkozy said. "Each time we went out to eat, or were out exercising, people were very nice."

"The friendship between France and the United States is not simply a friendship between two presidents, it is a friendship between two peoples."

AFP

Subject: French  news

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