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Beleaguered President Hollande heads to US to boost French economy

Published on Feb 9, 2014 11:48 AM
 
President Francois Hollande begins a three-day visit to the United States on Monday, hoping to leave a scandal behind as he seeks to shore up business ties and revive France's stagnant economy. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (AFP) - President Francois Hollande begins a three-day visit to the United States on Monday, hoping to leave a scandal behind as he seeks to shore up business ties and revive France's stagnant economy.

Deeply unpopular at home and fresh from a much-publicised split with longtime girlfriend Valerie Trierweiler, Mr Hollande will be hosted for a state dinner and talks with President Barack Obama before jetting to California to meet tech leaders.

Sources in the Elysee say the trip will highlight the "excellent working relationship" between the US and France, but Mr Hollande will also raise a few "irritants", including concerns over mass US spying in Europe.

Mr Hollande and Mr Obama are expected to discuss the war in Syria, Iran's nuclear programme, Ukraine's political crisis and security concerns in Africa.

 
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