Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • In pictures: Debris and devastation at Air Algérie Flight AH5017 crash scene

    Read more

  • Kerry heads to Paris for new round of Gaza peace talks

    Read more

  • ‘No survivors’ from Algerian plane crash, says Hollande

    Read more

  • Paris bans new Gaza protest scheduled for Saturday

    Read more

  • Tour de France fans bring the ambience to the Pyrenees

    Read more

  • French families grieve for Algerian plane crash victims

    Read more

  • Protest against Gaza offensive turns deadly in West Bank

    Read more

  • Halal tourism on the rise

    Read more

  • LA Times wipes France off the map in air crash infographic

    Read more

  • Lithuania’s Navardauskas wins 19th stage of Tour de France

    Read more

  • French lawyer files complaint against Israel at ICC

    Read more

  • Ukraine names acting PM after Yatseniuk's shock resignation

    Read more

  • BNP to pay $80 million for defrauding Dept of Agriculture

    Read more

  • Deadly strike on UN shelter in Gaza Strip

    Read more

  • Pope meets Christian woman sentenced to death in Sudan

    Read more

Bush, Sarkozy urge Syria to keep clear of Iran

Latest update : 2008-06-15

At a joint press conference in Paris, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and visiting US President George W. Bush presented their shared views on major issues like the Lisbon treaty and disappointment with Iran's recalcitrance.

US President George W. Bush left Italy on Friday after being treated to a special audience with Pope Benedict XVI, who was returning the hospitality he enjoyed at the White House in April.
   
The US leader took off for Paris after his 30-minute tete-a-tete with the 81-year-old pontiff in the Vatican's medieval St John's Tower instead of the usual site for papal audiences, the pontiff's private library.
   
The US leader could be heard exclaiming "what an honour" as he clasped the pontiff's hands in his after stepping out of a black limousine with his wife Laura as Swiss Guards in their striped regalia stood to attention.
   
The two men emerged from the meeting to take in the view of the elegant Vatican Gardens from the top of the tower before exchanging gifts inside.
   
Each offered the other a framed photograph of the pair, who also met at the Vatican last year.
   
The pope and the president then went for a stroll in the gardens, an enclave covering nearly 40 acres (16 hectares) that has been a place of quiet meditation for the popes since the 13th century.
   
First Lady Laura Bush and other members of the pair's entourages joined them to enjoy the sunshine and a performance by the Sistine Chapel Choir, one of the oldest religious choirs in the world.
   
The Vatican was to issue a communique on the meeting between Bush and the pope later Friday.
   
Benedict's trip to the United States coincided with his birthday, which he celebrated in grand style at the White House on April 16, when he was greeted with a 21-gun salute and some 13,500 well-wishers filled the South Lawn.
   
Bush "is a huge fan of the pope and has full respect for him," White House chief of protocol Nancy Goodman Brinker said.
   
The 61-year-old US leader "fully supports the (Catholic) Church and fully supports everything this pope is trying to do on behalf of peace, education and hunger in cooperation with world political leaders," she told the ANSA news agency.
   
Bush, whose relations with pope John Paul II were strained because of the US-led invasion of Iraq, feels closer to Benedict, who appreciates the religious fervour of the president, a born-again Protestant.
   
The two see eye to eye on key social issues, as both are staunch opponents of same-sex marriage, abortion and embryonic stem-cell research, though they diverge notably on the death penalty.
   
Benedict has also voiced his concerns for the plight of Christians in Iraq and over harsh CIA interrogation methods.
   
The Italian press has been rife with speculation that Bush may convert to Catholicism as his brother, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, did years ago, as well as former British prime minister Tony Blair. The latter two men are both married to Catholics.
   
Bush had talks in Rome on Thursday with Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on the third leg of his farewell tour of Europe, which has taken him to Slovenia and Germany and will end with stops in France and Britain.
 

Date created : 2008-06-14

COMMENT(S)