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Sarkozy reassures Brown after stimulus criticism

President Nicolas Sarkozy's office has called Downing Street to mend fences after the French leader made remarks widely seen as critical of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, his office said.

world Updated: Feb 10, 2009 19:09 IST
AFP

President Nicolas Sarkozy's office has called Downing Street to mend fences after the French leader made remarks widely seen as critical of Prime Minister Gordon Brown, his office said on Tuesday.

In recent months the French leader has made much of his relationship with Brown, with whom he has been working to find a way out of the global financial crisis, but last week's comments reportedly angered his British counterpart.

"The Elysee Palace contacted Downing Street to confirm to Prime Minister Brown that President Sarkozy deplores the way in which his comments on the British economy were reported in the United Kingdom," Sarkozy's office said.

The statement, issued in Paris while the president was on a visit to Baghdad, insisted that Sarkozy holds Brown in high regard and was looking forward to working with him on Europe's plans to escape economic crisis.

The Elysee praised Brown's role as a "motor" pushing for a common European response to the crisis and said France and Britain were working together on plans to "re-establish credit for individuals and companies."

The response did not, however, directly address Sarkozy's previous remarks, in which he explained why France was seeking an investment-led recovery rather than following Britain in trying to stimulate consumer demand.

First Published: Feb 10, 2009 18:46 IST