Thursday, 9 August 2007

President Sarkozy

PARIS, Aug 9, 2007

French President Nicolas Sarkozy will make a brief trip home from his United States vacation to attend the Friday funeral of Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger, the retired archbishop of Paris, in Notre Dame Cathedral, his office said. Cardinal Lustiger, a pivotal and highly respected figure in French religious life who served as Paris archbishop for 25 years until 2005, died on Sunday at age 80. He was a towering intellectual, and close associate of the late Pope John Paul II. There had once been speculative talk of Archbishop Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger becoming Pope. After the funeral in Paris, President Sarkozy will travel to the United States, where he is to meet Saturday with George W. Bush at the U.S. president's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. The two leaders will have a private luncheon together with French First Lady Cecilia Sarkozy and her U.S. counterpart, Laura Bush. Nicolas Sarkozy and his family have been vacationing since last week in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire, a mere 80 kilometers (50 miles) from Kennebunkport.

--M-J