| Bush holds a piece of meat he carved from a roasted boar at a barbecue with Merkel in Trinwillershagen, Germany, on Thursday. (AP)
Trinwillershagen (Germany), July 13 (Reuters): President George W. Bush put West Asia tension, violence in Iraq and Iran’s nuclear programme behind him today to feast on a wild boar roasting on a spit.
“Laura and I come from Texas,” Bush told his host German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a warm summer evening. “One of the greatest compliments you can pay a guest is to have a barbecue.”
The barbecue was a much-anticipated highlight of Bush’s visit to Merkel’s political home base in northeastern Germany, a grilling he had been looking forward to all day.
Merkel greeted Bush wearing faded blue jeans as the President and his wife, Laura, arrived in the tiny Baltic town north of Berlin aboard the Marine One helicopter.
They walked past a red-coated band playing a medley of songs like Hooray for the Red, White and Blue, and Bush plucked the conductor’s wand from his hand and led the band for a few notes.
Then he and Merkel posed for pictures with the band as its members played on, Bush startling a woman playing a flute by poking her on the shoulder.
Nearby, three creatures were turning slowly over flaming beds of coals, one of them a wild boar hunted down by restaurant owner Olaf Micheel.After both leaders spoke to the crowd, Bush said: “Thanks for having us. Let’s go eat.”
Someone handed Bush a long knife and fork and as he prepared to pierce the meat, members of another band lifted their horns and began to play on cue.
Bush cut several slices from the shoulder and Merkel did the same from a haunch, and the eating began.