On a mission to cement an old alliance, French President Francois Hollande has been welcomed by an equally determined President Barack Obama, wanting to show that the old Franco-American ties are as strong as ever.
From the outset the visit was full of symbolism, with a pilgrimage to the home of the third US
president, Thomas Jefferson, who was a recognised Francophile. On show were the countless items Jefferson brought back from Paris after serving as US ambassador there.
“I thought this was an appropriate way to start a state visit. Because what it signifies is the incredible history between the United States and France,” Obama told journalists.
Putting past squabbles aside such as the French refusal to support the Iraq war, and a row over US spying, the two men are expected to get down to business today with White House talks covering Iran, Syria and trade.
Reporting for euronews Stefan Grobe said:
“Today the United States and France are enjoying a level of trust not seen in more than a decade. That’s why this visit is a respite for both, for Obama battered by domestic gridlock and for Hollande, whose personal life is under scrutiny back home.”