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French president shows solidarity with Bush


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US President George W Bush welcomed his French counterpart, Nicolas Sarkozy, to his family home in Maine on Saturday for an informal lunch and boat ride. Officials stressed the meeting was not a summit but instead a chance for the two men to get to know each other over hot dogs and hamburgers. France's former President Jacques Chirac's opposition to the Iraq war saw Franco-US relations fall to a new low. But Mr Sarkozy has made it clear that he will adopt a more pro-US stance. Mr Bush praised Mr Sarkozy as he waited with his wife and parents on the lawn of the family home in Kennebunkport, on the Atlantic seaside. "The good thing about President Sarkozy is you know where he stands," Mr Bush told reporters. Before the lunch, Mr Sarkozy, who is on holiday in America, said he admired the US as "a great democracy, a country of freedom". He called the US a "close friend", comparing France's relations with it to a family which sometimes had disagreements.


Sarkozy defends "France's presence in Iraq"

Updated: 2007-08-25 02:36

PARIS -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy affirmed Friday during a cabinet meeting that "France must be present in Iraq," French government spokesman Laurent Wauquiez has said.

"France must be present in Iraq, France must be present in various Arab countries, it must portray an acceptable international foreign policy," Sarkozy was quoted as saying by Wauquiez.


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