French President Arrives in US without 'First Lady'

World | February 11, 2014, Tuesday // 13:10|  views

Hollande and Obama during the Monticello tour, photo

French President Francois Hollande has arrived in the US for a state visit with President Barack Obama to discuss a broad range of cooperation topics.

His long-time partner Valerie Trierweiler did not travel with him, after the breakdown in their relationship following accusations he had had affair with French film actress Julie Gayet.

On Monday afternoon, he and Obama toured Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson, one of the founders of the US, an envoy to France, and the third US president. The home is now located on the campus of the University of Virginia in the state of Virginia.

Hollande said after the tours that Monticello was a symbol of US-French relations.

The bilateral talks are focusing on a number of issues such as the global economic recovery, strengthening the Eurozone, the French president's effort to boost the French economy, actions to combat climate change and efforts in the Middle East, including negotiations with Iran and the plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons.

Tuesday, the talks will be followed by a joint news conference and Hollande will have lunch with Vice-President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department.

In the evening, Obama will host and official state dinner for Hollande at the White House.

The French President will also travel to San Francisco and meet chiefs of Silicon Valley giants including Facebook, Twitter and Google.

The BBC reminds that ties between the two nations have warmed considerably since France refused to support the US-led invasion of Iraq under President George W Bush.

The trip comes on the backdrop of Hollande's plummeting approval ratings at home and the personal scandal with the break of his relationship with Valerie Trierweiler.

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Tags: Valerie Trierweiler, Secretary of State John Kerry, Vice-President Joe Biden, Silicon Valley, San Francisco, chemical weapons, Syria, Iran, Middle East, climate change, French economy, Eurozone, economic recovery, Thomas Jefferson, Monticello, Virginia, state visit, Barack Obama, francois hollande, Iraq, George W Bush


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