President Bush and French President Jacques Chirac have had a rare telephone conversation, their second since the start of the war in Iraq. This time the topic was the agenda for the upcoming G8 summit in the French alps.
It was a brief conversation, only about ten minutes in length. But White House Spokesman Ari Fleischer calls it "productive."
He says President Chirac placed the call while Mr. Bush was traveling from Washington to his Texas ranch. He says they focused on plans for the G8 summit, which is set to begin on June first in the French resort of Evian.
Mr. Fleischer says they did not talk about Iraq, even though the call took place shortly after the U.N. Security Council voted to lift sanctions imposed more than a decade ago. France voted yes, despite earlier sharp disagreements with the United States on Iraqi policy.
Senior Bush administration officials say one issue that did come up in the call was the Middle East peace process. These officials suggest discussions of the search for peace between Israel and the Palestinians could play a prominent role on the Evian agenda.