The presidents of France and the United States have confirmed the strong friendship between the two countries at a press conference in Washington on Tuesday.
Obama and Hollande said they were both in agreement on foreign policy, trade and the environment.
On the subject of Iran, Obama said sanctions would continue for now. “President Hollande and I agree on the need to continue enforcing existing sanctions even as we believe that new sanctions during these negotiations would endanger the possibility of a diplomatic solution.”
On Syria, Hollande talked about how the two countries had been ready to use force, but decided on negotiation, and how there was still much work to do in obtaining a peace settlement. “We were ready to use force, we have found another option: negotiation. We allowed the partial destruction of chemical stockpiles but we have yet to find a political solution.”
After the press conference, a state dinner will be held in honour of Hollande.
The next time the two will meet will be in June. Obama announced he had accepted an invitation to visit France to attend the 70th anniversary of D-day.
Euronews’ correspondent in Washington, Stefan Grobe, says that on a personal level both presidents seemed to be enjoying each other’s company. He notes that this genuine mutual appreciation was certainly helped by the total political harmony between the two countries. However, Obama stopped short of declaring France America’s number 1 ally in Europe and said he loved all the Europeans like his daughters.”