Sarkozy hosts Chirac for Riviera villa dinner

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy hosted his predecessor Jacques Chirac for dinner at the Riviera villa of first lady Carla Bruni this week.

15 August 2008

PARIS - French President Nicolas Sarkozy hosted his predecessor Jacques Chirac for dinner at the Riviera villa of first lady Carla Bruni this week, presidential aides said on Friday.

Confirming a report in Le Parisien newspaper, they said Chirac and his wife Bernadette joined the presidential couple at the seafront house on Wednesday, a day after Sarkozy's return from a mediation trip to Moscow and Tbilisi.

The Chiracs are holidaying in Saint Tropez, half an hour along the Mediterranean coast from the villa owned by Bruni's family on the exclusive Cap Negre promontory near the resort of Le Lavandou.

Sarkozy, whose country holds the European Union presidency, interrupted his vacation Tuesday for a mission to negotiate a ceasefire between Russia and Georgia.

On Thursday he received US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Cap Negre for talks on the conflict, before she left for Tbilisi.

Sarkozy and Chirac - a one-time mentor turned bitter rival towards the end of his 12 years in office - dined together in a Parisian restaurant in late June, for the first time since Sarkozy's election in May 2007.

The French president made a brief appearance a few days later for the launch of Chirac's new foundation for sustainable development and cultural diversity, which marked the 75-year-old former president's return to the public stage.

[AFP / Expatica]

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