Obama welcomes France's Hollande to White House

US President Barack Obama (right) laughs as his French counterpart Francois Hollande makes a statement to the media followoing their tour of the Third US President Thomas Jefferson, one of the US earliest envoys to France, residence -Monticello- whic
US President Barack Obama (right) laughs as his French counterpart Francois Hollande makes a statement to the media followoing their tour of the Third US President Thomas Jefferson, one of the US earliest envoys to France, residence -Monticello- which reflects Jefferson’s affection for the people of France, on Feb 10, 2014 in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The United States and France stand united on the fight against terrorism and nuclear proliferation, French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday, Feb 11, 2014, at the White House. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama on Tuesday welcomed France's Francois Hollande to the White House, deploying the full pageantry of a state visit to celebrate America's oldest alliance.

The two leaders listened to their national anthems on the White House's chilly South Lawn. They will later hold talks in the Oval Office on issues ranging from Iran's nuclear programme to climate change, trade and combating Islamist threats, before a glittering state dinner.