Obama, Hollande renew historic bonds

2014-02-11 10:49
French President Francois Hollande. (File, AFP)

French President Francois Hollande. (File, AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

kalahari.com

  • The Amateur
    A gripping read that reveals never before published details about the Obama administration's... Now R321.00
    buy now

Monticello - French President Francois Hollande began a state visit to the United States on Monday, flying with President Barack Obama to pay homage at the home of francophile US founding father Thomas Jefferson.

The visit, designed to underscore historic ties and a burgeoning security relationship between America and its oldest ally, takes place as Hollande tries to shrug off embarrassment over his love life.

Obama met Hollande at the steps of a Boeing-757 version of his Air Force One jet at Andrews Air Force base, for a short flight into Virginia to visit Jefferson's beloved mansion at Monticello.

The visit was planned as a chance for Obama and Hollande, who speaks good English, to forge a personal relationship in highly symbolic surroundings.

The US leader said Jefferson was a "francophile through and through.

"This home represents the bonds that helped lead to the American revolution, helped to influence the French Revolution," Obama said.

Hollande stretched the historical allusion to include the Marquis de Lafayette, the French nobleman who fought for America's independence in George Washington's revolutionary army.

"Allies we were at the time of Jefferson and Lafayette, allies we are today," he said.

Serious business

The serious business will begin on Tuesday, with Oval Office talks likely to focus on the war in Syria, Iran's nuclear programme, Ukraine's political crisis and security concerns in Africa.

Washington and Paris share a tough stance against Tehran and Damascus, and US forces provide intelligence and logistics support to the French operations in Mali and Central African Republic.

Hollande hopes to leave his split from long-time girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler behind, but her absence will be noted when he goes solo to Wednesday's state dinner in a plush marquee on the White House south lawn.

His trip is the first full state visit by a French leader since 1996 and is expected to highlight the "excellent working relationship" between the United States and France, according to sources at the Elysee.

But the pair will also discuss issues that have bedeviled relations, including concerns over mass US spying in France, and economic ties will also be on the agenda.

The leaders will hold a joint press conference at the White House.

Jefferson, the third US president, served from 1801 to 1809 and was both one of the founding fathers of the United States and one of the country's first diplomats in Paris.

Monticello, about 200km southwest of the US capital, is a shrine to Jefferson's political and diplomatic career and his consuming passions for wine, history, science and literature.

On Tuesday night, the Obamas will host a state dinner for Hollande - an event that created a flurry of protocol confusion, as the French leader had initially been invited to attend with Trierweiler.

Intense pressure

Hollande announced his separation after his affair with Julie Gayet, an actress nearly 20 years his junior, was revealed.

Ahead of their meetings, the two leaders issued a joint call for other nations to join them in seeking an "ambitious" agreement to curb climate change.

In a column published in the Washington Post and Le Monde, the presidents said their nations had overcome disagreements of the past, including over France's refusal to support the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq under president George W. Bush.

"A decade ago, few would have imagined our countries working so closely together in so many ways. But in recent years our alliance has transformed," the presidents wrote.

"Alongside a revitalised alliance on the world stage, we're also working to deepen our bilateral economic relationship," they said.

Hollande, whose approval rating is the lowest of any modern French leader, is under intense pressure to give a boost to his country's ailing economy and find ways to create jobs.

To that end, he will head from Washington to California to meet with tech leaders in Silicon Valley.

The visit is Hollande's second to the United States since taking office, after a meeting in the Oval Office with Obama during a G8 and Nato summit in April 2012, shortly after his election.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  france
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
3 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Delft - 20:37 PM
    Road name: R300 Southbound
    ROADWORKS - left lane closed at Hindle Road
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Apple iPad 2 White 16GB 9.7" Tablet With WiFi & 3G

Two cameras for FaceTime and HD video recording. The dual-core...

From R5727.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.