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Last updated at 14:25 GMT, Monday, 10 February 2014

Hollande visits US

Summary

10 February 2014

President François Hollande will be hoping his trip to the US improves his popularity at home in France where there are doubts he can help the economy recover. It is the first state visit to the US by a French head of state since 1996.

Reporter:

Christian Fraser

The White House in Washington, United States

Hollande's visit to the US is the first by any head of state since 2011

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François Hollande's visit to Washington signals a new era in US-French relations.

Forgotten are the days when France stood opposed to the US venture in Iraq; gone from the menu are the Freedom Fries. These days, the two countries find themselves largely in step on a wide range of international issues.

France's robust military response to threats in Mali and the Central African Republic, their tough stance on Iran's nuclear programme and Mr Hollande's willingness to strike the Syrian regime - albeit that the US stood in his way - have put France in a leading position among Washington's traditional allies.

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Vocabulary

era

period of time (marked by a particular quality)

venture

a new activity involving risk

in step

having the same opinion

robust

strong and unlikely to fail

tough stance

strong position

albeit that

even though

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