French president Nicolas Sarkozy gushed about his new wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy – and, of course, France’s blossoming relationship with Britain – during a news conference Thursday afternoon at the Arsenal Emirates football stadium in London.

“So much has been said and so much has been written and I am proud that people have seen her for what she is,” said Sarkozy of his wife, following a summit and lunch with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. “I think she has been an honor to our country, and not just because of the way she looks,” he added, turning a blind eye to the semi-naked photographs of her the British tabloids published on Wednesday. (True to form, the press did a 360 degree turn on Thursday, heaping praise on the elegant and well-turned-out Madame Sarkozy, who this afternoon turned up at a charity lunch in a purple Dior coat).

Ever the romantic, Sarkozy did not reserve fulsome praise for his wife alone. He said he was looking forward to “a lasting improvement” in relations between London and Paris, expressing his thoughts in the language of a true Don Juan. “It is not simply a matter of a one-night stand. I believe we can go into the next day breakfast as well.” What, no lunch or dinner?

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