US President George Bush has complimented his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy for his taste in spouse on the latest leg of his European tour. Mr Bush heaped praise on French first lady Carla Bruni, describing her as "a really smart, capable woman". "I can see why you married her," he told the French president in Paris. French-US policy differences over Iraq took a back seat as the men exchanged banter on what is seen as Mr Bush's farewell European tour. Referring to Mr Sarkozy by his first name, Mr Bush recalled that "America's first friend was France", helping win independence from Britain. The US president went on to compliment the man referred to in some French media as "Sarkozy l'Americain" (Sarkozy the American). "He's an interesting guy," said Mr Bush. "He is full of energy. He's full of wisdom. He tells me what's on his mind. And every time I've met with him we've had very meaningful discussions."  Mr Sarkozy, for his part, said warm relations between the countries had endured for more than 200 years. Since taking office a year ago, the French president has made great efforts to build relations with Washington, which went into deep freeze under his predecessor Jacques Chirac. During a joint press conference at the Elysee Palace, the two men emphasised the strength of relations between their two countries.          - BBC