The Summit: entente cordiale

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The Independent Online
For one schooled on Anglo summits of yesteryear, featuring the mutual suspicions of haughty de Gaulles, slippery Wilsons, frosty Giscards, hectoring Thatchers and cool, ironic Mitterrands, times have really changed.

This was a gathering of those three mates Tony, Jacques and Lionel, and any edginess on view was across the Seine, between the reluctantly cohabiting Frenchmen, than across the Channel. Which of them did he get on better with?, the man from the French Communist daily L'Humanite asked. "In a new Labour government I'm able to get on with both equally well," beamed the Prime Minister.

Mr Chirac won the flattery battle. "Merci, Tonee," he said at the press conference wrapping up the summit. "I'm impressed by the site, from ground level and from above, and the image it gives d'une Angleterre jeune, dynamique et moderne." --