France’s presidential election may be eight months away but possible candidates already appear to be showcasing their potential in international relations. Nicolas Sarkozy is in Washington for meetings with President Bush and his Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The centre-right Interior Minister reinforced his image as France’s most pro-US politician.
He told a Franco-American foundation that his ‘‘attachment” to America had earned him criticism at home but that he was proud of it. He also stressed the importance of improving relations between the two countries. Sarkozy is considered the favourite to secure his party’s nomination for next May’s vote.
The woman he may well be up against, Segelene Royale of the opposition Socialists, has also been on the diplomatic trail. After meeting Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi in Rome she said her trip was not about image-making. She said she had been invited to Italy and was there to listen and to talk. Royale is also due to travel to Spain and Brussels, also visited recently by Sarkozy.