Cameron says still on good terms with 'friend' Sarkozy

12th December 2011, Comments 0 comments

British Prime Minister David Cameron said Monday that he was still on "extremely good terms" with French President Nicolas Sarkozy despite the fallout over last week's EU summit.

Their relationship has been under scrutiny since pictures apparently showed Sarkozy snubbing the offer of a handshake in Brussels in Friday after Cameron vetoed European Union treaty changes aimed at saving the euro currency.

Cameron was asked in parliament on Monday whether he would back Sarkozy's socialist election rival Francois Hollande, after Hollande said he would renegotiate the EU fiscal pact that Britain stayed out of.

"I don't want to get drawn into the French election campaign, because despite reports to the contrary I'm still on extremely good terms with my friend Nicolas Sarkozy," he said, drawing muted cheers from lawmakers.

"I think the Libya campaign proved that," he added, referring to France and Britain's leadership of the military campaign that led to the toppling of Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi earlier this year.

"But I will say one thing, at least the opposition leader in France has told us what he thinks," he said, pointing to the British opposition Labour leader Ed Miliband, who has not said what action he would have taken.

Cameron and Sarkozy became close last year after the French leader provided a helicopter which allowed the British premier to get home from a holiday in France and say a final goodbye to his dying father.

But their relationship has been rockier in recent months over the eurozone crisis, with reports in October that Sarkozy told Cameron: "We're sick of you criticising us and telling us what to do."

© 2011 AFP

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