April 3, 2008 / 1:21 PM / 9 years ago

Bush flatters Sarkozy as French Elvis

<p>President Bush puts his arm around French President Nicolas Sarkozy during a press availability after their meeting at Mount Vernon in Virginia, November 7, 2007.</p>

BUCHAREST (Reuters) - It's "Love me tender" between the United States and France after President George W. Bush compared French President Nicolas Sarkozy with rock'n'roll singer Elvis Presley.

Bush told NATO leaders at a Bucharest summit on Thursday that when Sarkozy visited the United States recently, he was seen as "the latest incarnation of Elvis".

Such an example of "Burning love" marks a sea change from the "Suspicious minds" that clouded Franco-American relations under Sarkozy's predecessor, Jacques Chirac, who often seemed to see Washington as "The devil in disguise".

Bush has made clear the diminutive French leader, who recently married another singer, Carla Bruni, is now his "Good luck charm" and "My little friend".

Sarkozy has shown he is "All shook up" by heaping praise on Bush as the first U.S. leader to understand the need for a strong European defense.

Reporting by Susan Cornwell, writing by Paul Taylor

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