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Obama, Hollande open state visit

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 11, 2014 at 8:27 a.m.

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is welcoming French President Francois Hollande to the White House for policy meetings and a lavish state dinner.

Hollande arrived at the White House on Tuesday morning. Obama and first lady Michelle Obama, along with a military honor guard, greeted the French president on the South Lawn for the outdoor arrival ceremony.

The two leaders, both wearing overcoats on a cold February morning, stood side by side as a military band played the national anthems of France and the United States.

Obama's and Hollande's policy agenda has largely been overshadowed by the French leader's personal problems. He recently ended his relationship with his longtime girlfriend, who was considered France's first lady and had been expected to accompany him during his trip to Washington.

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