Nicolas Sarkozy and George W. Bush have held talks at Mount Vernon – the Virginia home of one of America’s founding fathers and its first President, George Washington. The two leaders pledged to prevent Iran arming itself with nuclear weapons while Bush had a clear message for the President of Pakistan: “I have just spoken with the President Musharraf before I came here, my message was very, very plain, very easy to understand and that is…the United States want you to have the elections as scheduled and take your uniform off,” he told reporters.
The US has no problem with France’s ongoing dialogue with Syria over Lebanon said Bush, who had warm words for his counterpart and emerging ally:
“I have a partner in peace, somebody who has a clear vision, basic values, who is willing to take tough positions to achieve peace”.
Earlier, Sarkozy had become the first French President for more than a decade to address a joint session of Congress. He was cheered for more than three minutes before even beginning his 45 minute address, in which he mentioned Iran but not Iraq, and France’s role in NATO.
He also said that France would support the US in Afghanistan. And, clearly moved, Sarkozy delighted the Chamber by calling for more action on the environment: “Those who love America with its wide-open spaces, its national parks and its protected environment are eager for the country to stand alongside Europe in the fight against global warming which is threatening to destroy our planet.”
Observers claim that Sarkozy, who has now left the US, has healed the rift which developed between Paris and Washington after the invasion of Iraq in 2003.