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Obama and Hollande bust anti-French cliches

Published on Feb 11, 2014 6:01 AM
United States President Barack Obama (right) and French President Francois Hollande (centre) are greeted by Charlottesville Mayor Satyendra Huja (Left) upon arrival at Charlottesville Albemarle Airport on Feb 10, 2014. -- PHOTO:  REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - You win no points in modern US politics by cosying up to France.

Yet US President Barack Obama is breaking out the tricolours and booming cannon of a state visit for President Francois Hollande, a scandal-tainted socialist with anaemic approval ratings.

Mr Obama's embrace included a rare spin for a foreign leader on Air Force One and a tour of Monticello, shrine to the quintessential American francophile Thomas Jefferson.

The plan is to show that shared political and historic links with America's oldest ally trump occasional turbulence.

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