23 JUNE 2008

Although her new album is set to hit the shops next month chameleon Carla Bruni was busy in her role as First Lady - not pop star - over the weekend. The former model jetted to Israel with husband, French president Nicolas Sarkozy, to begin an official three-day visit to the country.

The high-profile pair were given a red-carpet welcome when they touched down at the airport in Tel Aviv. "I have always been and will always be a friend of Israel," declared the French president, as the country's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert personally greeted him and his glamorous wife off their private jet.

Later on the couple, who wed in February after a whirlwind romance, traveled to Jerusalem for a ceremony at the residence of Israeli president Shimon Peres - where the Italy-born singer signed the guestbook as Carla Sarkozy. "Shimon, do you know that Carla now signs with a new name?" asked her proud husband.

And the talented singer was clearly in her element at the event, happily tapping her feet in time to popular Israeli songs sung by a French-speaking children's choir.

Photo: ©
Demure in a brown summer dress, the model-turned-musician was on duty as First Lady of France on Sunday when she arrived at Tel Aviv international airport with her husband Photo: © Rex
Photo: ©
Carla and Nicolas, who have been wed four months, share whispered words at the welcome ceremony Photo: © Rex
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