The NATO summit has opened in Chicago with a call for unity among world leaders.
For the French president Francois Hollande it is the latest stage of his baptism of fire in international diplomacy.
High on the agenda for all the delegates is the future of Afghanistan as the 2014 deadline for withdrawal approaches.
Whatever the future holds the leaders were told that it is always easier if they can stick together.
“Together we will keep NATO capable of responding to the security challenges of tomorrow,” said Secretary General Anders Foch Rasmussen. “Because no country and no continent can deal with them alone. We must embrace a renewed culture of cooperation to provide more security at lesser cost for all our citizens.”
Hollande has said he wants to see French troops home before the end of this year, but he has agreed for France to cooperate in other ways.
He has not said exactly how but there could be opportunities since the conference will also address the situation in Afghanistan after withdrawal.