- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 8, 2005

PARIS (Agence France-Presse) — French President Jacques Chirac said last week he hopes 2005 will be a year of “trust” with President Bush, as the two men — who have had frosty ties since the U.S.-led war in Iraq — look ahead to several years of sharing the world stage.

“A few days from his second-term inauguration, I want to extend my friendly wishes to the president of the United States, whom I will soon have the occasion to see again,” Mr. Chirac told foreign ambassadors in Paris on Thursday during an annual New Year’s function.

“I hope that together, with the international community, we will go into this new year with unity, with trust and determination, and that the challenges facing us will be opportunities to show the vitality of transatlantic ties,” the French president said.

Mr. Chirac is scheduled to travel to Washington sometime in the next few weeks at Mr. Bush’s invitation. French officials said the trip may occur before or after Mr. Bush’s trip to Europe, which is to start Feb. 22.

Mr. Bush’s second inauguration is Jan. 20 in Washington.

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