Georges Bush: Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea are an “axis of evil”
1 Sep 2010
Tony Blair: 'George Bush did not recognise Belgian prime minister
George W Bush did not recognise the prime minister of Belgium or understand why he was at a G8 meeting, Tony Blair has disclosed...'
In his new book, A Journey, Mr Blair writes that the former US president was confused by the presence of Guy Verhofstadt at the 2001 G8 summit in Genoa.
“He didn’t know or recognise Guy, whose advice he listened to with considerable astonishment,” Mr Blair writes. “He then turned to me and whispered, ‘Who is this guy?’ ‘He is the prime minister of Belgium,’ I said.
“Belgium? George said, clearly aghast at the possible full extent of his stupidity. ‘Belgium is not part of the G8’.”
Mr Blair explained to Mr Bush that Mr Verhofstadt was there as “president of Europe”. Belgium held the presidency of the EU council at the time.
Mr Bush responded: “You got the Belgians running Europe?” before shaking his head, “now aghast at our stupidity”, Mr Blair writes.
Elsewhere in the book Mr Blair claims that the president held an uncomplicated view of international affairs.
“George had immense simplicity in how he saw the world. Right or wrong it led to decisive leadership.”
The former prime minister also suggests he was uneasy with Mr Bush’s 2002 State of the Union speech, in which he described Iran, Iraq, Syria and North Korea as an “axis of evil”.
Photo 1: A news conference at the White House in 2006. Verhofstadt, amused President Bush with a story about mountain biking.
Photo 2: Chief of Staff of the so called ‘Free Syrian Army’ Gen. Salim Idris, addresses the media after he discussed the situation in Syria with Guy Verhofstadt, right, at the European Parliament in Brussels, Wednesday March 6, 2013.