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Entente Cordiale


French President Jacques ChiracFrench President Jacques Chirac
President Chirac was welcomed with a Guard of Honour at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the English capital before joining the Prime Minister for talks.

President Chirac of France arrives for a two-day visit this morning. Peter Biles has more.
Anglo_French Flag

A new relationship?

Cordiale Entente
Nick Danziger - Britain at 6am

Nick Danziger - Normandy Veterans gallery

Nick Danziger - The Military gallery

Nick Danziger - The Moulin Rouge gallery

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Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair

Jacques Chirac and Tony Blair
Click here to see the exclusive photographs of President Chirac and Prime Minister Blair.
Photographic Journalist, Nick Danziger was the only British photographer allowed to take this series of 'behind the scenes' pictures.  Here's what he had to say:

President Chirac has referred to his relationship with Prime Minister Blair as a violent love affair, but are they even friends or partners? I have stood beside President Chirac and Prime Minister Blair on two occasions, the first at the European Council meeting in Brussels in March 2003 - the first time they had met in person after their disagreements over Iraq - and for the second time during last week's meeting to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Entente Cordiale.
In photographing the two leaders expressions, their body language, their friendly banter and their intense discussions, I have come away with several observations. In many ways they mirror the differences between the Gallic and Albion cultures, built on centuries of equal doses of mutual admiration and disdain. Through the cameras' lens I have tried to capture to what extent their relationship must inevitably be influenced by their positions' as both allies and rivals on the European and world stage.
Both the President and the Prime Minster enjoy speaking the others language - they are respectively Anglophile and Francophile. I imagine both share a desire to import aspects of the others culture whilst remaining firmly footed rather than rooted in their own. On the one hand the President is more formal even though he talks with grand gestures, on the other hand the Prime Minister is more unceremonious, quieter and more reserved but with the resolve and resoluteness of a bulldog if not a terrier. Both are proud. The former feels the urge to be upstage, the latter takes a more pragmatic attitude to stagecraft and statesmanship.
After 100 years of Entente Cordial, these two leaders positions have come to mirror European football teams - I see them as two international players from different countries who want to be at the centre of their team. They have similar aims and goals but both want to wear the Captain's armband. One works discreetly with quiet steely determination, sure of himself and totally focused leading by his own performance, the other is demonstrative, he urges his team on through flair and cajoling. In footballing terms, one is the attacker, the other the defender - the former is always likely to get more headlines from scoring goals than the defender who doesn't concede them.
Like all teams with big names, there is bound to be rivalry. Both are political giants, however their teams will continue to play long after these players have gone. Both need to face their supporters, but I do wonder which one is more likely to be substituted first?

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