PARIS – President Bush said Wednesday that though Americans had been "disappointed" by French opposition to war in Iraq, an upcoming summit in France would not be confrontational.
The president, in interviews with French media, said it was time for both nations to move beyond disagreements and work to fight problems like AIDS (search).
Asked by France 3 television if he was mad at French President Jacques Chirac (search) over Iraq, Bush said, "I'm disappointed, and the American people are disappointed. But now is the time to move forward."
Bush told Le Figaro that the Group of Eight (search) gathering in the French Alps city of Evian "will not be a confrontational summit."
Bush's remarks were translated into French, and his exact responses in English to Le Figaro were not immediately available. The White House issued an English version of the France 3 television interview.
The American leader heads to Poland and Russia before going to Evian on Sunday for the summit. Afterward, he will visit Egypt, Jordan and Qatar.
The Group of Eight summit gathers together the heads of the world's top seven industrial powers -- the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Canada and Italy -- and Russia. Another dozen or so leaders from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe will also be attending.
Bush said that the global fight against AIDS could bring France and the United States closer, and he recalled that Congress accepted a $15 billion bill to fight AIDS globally.
"And there would be an opportunity, for example, for America and the French to work together to solve some big problems," Bush said.
The France 3 interview also touched on the Mideast crisis, global terrorism and Iraq's reconstruction.
When asked, Bush said he was not worried that an Iran-backed regime would gain power in Iraq.
"I think the Iraqi people are plenty capable of managing their own affairs."
"And as life returns back to normal, and as we get a hold of the situation -- particularly in Baghdad -- of the killers and people that are wreaking havoc -- in other words, as we bring security to the neighborhoods -- you'll see a good, democratic government emerge," Bush said.