The White House will file a formal protest with the Swiss government over a scuffle and shouting match that occurred between members of President Bush's delegation and Swiss security forces in Geneva.
White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater called the security force treatment "brutal and vicious." But Geneva police spokesman Thierry Magnin described the actions of some American reporters as "deplorable" and "inadmissible."Fitzwater said a formal protest would be lodged with Swiss Ambassador Edouard Brunner after Bush returns from Mexico next week.
The incidents took place Friday while Bush was en route back to the United States following an eight-day visit to Europe and the Middle East.
Upon arrival in Geneva, reporters and photographers in the president's party clashed with security officers. The press people were shoved as they tried to approach a ramp on which Bush would leave the plane.
Fitzwater said U.S. chief of protocol Joseph Reed was poked in the abdomen with a machine gun, and Jerome Delay, a photographer with the French news agency, Agence France-Press, was roughed up.
Swiss foreign ministry spokeswoman Andrea Reichlin said Geneva police were unaware that White House reporters are usually allowed under Air Force One's left wing to watch the president come and go.