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.
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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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period of time (marked by a particular quality)
a new activity involving risk
- in step
having the same opinion
strong and unlikely to fail
- tough stance
- albeit that