State Dinner for François Hollande a Lavish Success

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The dinner at the White House hosted for French President François Hollande served as a re-establishment of the friendship between both historic allies, as well as a reminder that the U.S. can still throw a good party. This state dinner is the first since 2011 –  which was with the South Korean President, Lee Myung-bak. The two political leaders toasted each other, and according to the BBC, they both indicated that privacy breaches, spying, and the French disagreement with the U.S. over the Iraq war was all water under the bridge. “We wanted to fight against terrorism, but we also wanted to meet a number of principles,” Hollande said, according to the BBC, adding that, “We are making headway in this cooperation. Mutual trust has been restored.”

To our friends and partner President Hollande, to all our friends from France who are here today — Vive la France, God bless America, and long live the alliance between our great nations,” toasted President Barack Obama Tuesday, joking about previous visits from the French that went worse than they had hoped due to the lack of wine and poor food choices.

President Hollande followed after, toasting both nations by speaking in English and, for a short time, switching to French with a translator. “Our two countries share universal values, and we have feelings for one another,” he said, joking that, “We love Americans, although we don’t always say so. And you love the French, but you’re sometimes too shy to say so.”

“We share the same universal values — freedom, democracy, respect for the law. These principles guide our actions,” said Hollande, moving on to address the two nations’ partnership going forward with Iran, Syria, and climate change.

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