French President Calls His Relationship with Model 'Serious'

01/08/2008 at 10:30 AM EST

French President Calls His Relationship with Model 'Serious'
Sarkozy and Bruni stroll the beach in Egypt
Affairs of state took a backseat to those of the heart in Paris Tuesday, as French President Nicolas Sarkozy used a nationally broadcast press conference to speak for the first time about his six-week-old relationship with ex-supermodel Carla Bruni.

Using his first press conference of the year as platform, Sarkozy, 52, explained that he and Bruni, 39, had decided to break a longstanding French political tradition of hiding the Presidential love life.

"Carla and I have decided not to lie," he said, explaining his intention to break with the past "hypocrisy and lies" which have governed the private lives of recent French presidents. (In particular, he made pointed allusion to former President Francois Mitterrand, who maintained a second family while in office.)

Calling the relationship "serious," Sarkozy said it would lead to marriage. But he did not confirm or deny recent reports claiming the couple would we on Feb. 8 or 9. "There's a strong chance you'll only learn about [the wedding] after it's happened," he added.

Sarkozy – who divorced his second wife, Cecilia, in mid October – has been dating the model-turned-singer since Nov. 23, when they met at a dinner party.

Since then, the globe-trotting couple has been spotted at numerous glamorous locations including southern Jordan, the Egyptian Pyramids and beaches (pictured) and, yes, Paris's Disneyland park.

"If it troubles you, don't send photographers," he admonished the gathered reporters. "Our vacations will be excellent just the same."

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