France (search) and the United States have mended the rift over the Iraq war and the two countries are focused on working together on international problems, the U.S. ambassador said.

Ambassador Howard Leach (search) pointed to two international events this month — the G-8 (search) summit and the Paris Air Show — as evidence that relations between political and business leaders were back on track.

"The page has been turned, and I think we can say that a new chapter has already begun," Leach wrote in an article published in Thursday's Le Figaro newspaper.

Despite his generally upbeat assessment, many political and business leaders on both sides of the Atlantic believe it will still take some time to patch up U.S.-French relations, which can be touchy even in normal times.

A meeting between President Bush and French leader Jacques Chirac at the G-8 summit in Evian, France — their first since the spat over Iraq — "was an occasion for reconciliation," Ambassador Leach said.

Common objectives for world peace have helped Paris and Washington move past their Iraq differences and focus on the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, a Middle East peace plan and other international issues, Leach said.

"The differences that we had over the disarming of Iraq are in the past and part of our history," Leach wrote. "They are not forgotten but each of us is better off focusing on the current international problems and on the future."