Bush is slated to meet with Sarkozy this weekend.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Bush will meet with newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy while the French leader is on vacation in the United States, the White House announced Wednesday.
The meeting will take place Saturday at the Kennebunkport, Maine, home of the U.S. leader's father, White House spokesman Tony Snow said. Sarkozy and his wife, Cecilia, are currently vacationing in nearby New Hampshire.
"I'm sure they'll talk about some international matters, but this is not a summit," Snow said. "This is not something with an agenda. The agenda is: Come by, and let's visit."
He said the United States is "on the verge of a new era of relations with the French, which is a good thing. And the president believes in building personal relationships with other heads of state."
Ties between Washington and Paris were strained by the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, which Sarkozy's predecessor, Jacques Chirac, opposed. Upon winning office, Sarkozy pledged that the United States "can rely on our friendship."
The Bush family compound in Kennebunkport, known as Walker's Point, was used for a similar meeting between Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin in early July. Snow said the home was chosen again as a matter of convenience, since the Sarkozys are nearby.
He said the invitation was extended by first lady Laura Bush to Cecilia Sarkozy during the Group of Eight economic summit in Germany. At that time, President Sarkozy did tell reporters he planned to come to America this summer, but was not specific about any potential meetings with the Bush family.
- CNN White House Correspondent Ed Henry