10 February 2014 - Mr Hollande goes to Washington
A state visit gives France’s president a chance to improve his country’s image
Staff writer (The Economist)
THIRTY years ago a French Socialist president flew to Silicon Valley to see the future. Coming from the country that invented the Minitel, François Mitterrand was a credible techno-enthusiast, and he was inspired by meeting a 29-year-old Valley entrepreneur called Steve Jobs. Next week another French Socialist president will drop in on the Valley as part of a three-day state visit to America. But François Hollande will come with a less tech-friendly image—and a need to persuade Americans that France is not about the past.
This is the first state visit to America by a French president since 1996. Mr Hollande will get full honours, including a black-tie White House dinner and a trip with Barack Obama on Air Force One. In many ways, the visit is well timed. France is not just America’s oldest ally. Mr Hollande also has a claim to be America’s most hawkish European friend, when there is concern over American disengagement. Since his election in 2012 he has sent French troops into Mali to push back an incursion by Islamists tied to al-Qaeda, and more recently into the Central African Republic to halt “pre-genocidal” warfare there.
Paper written by Hollande and Obama
Obama and François Hollande (Washington Post / Le Monde)
Today, American and French diplomats are preparing for talks with Iran that build on the agreement that has halted progress on and rolled back key elements of the Iranian nuclear program. French and American officials share information daily to combat terrorism around the world. Our development experts are helping farmers across Africa and on other continents boost their yields and escape poverty. In forums such as the Group of Eight and the Group of 20, the United States and France promote strong, sustainable and balanced growth, jobs and stability — and we address global challenges that no country can tackle alone. At high-tech start-ups in Paris and Silicon Valley, American and French entrepreneurs are collaborating on the innovations that power our global economy.
A decade ago, few would have imagined our two countries working so closely together in so many ways. But in recent years our alliance has transformed. Since France’s return to NATO’s military command four years ago and consistent with our continuing commitment to strengthen the NATO- European Union partnership, we have expanded our cooperation across the board. We are sovereign and independent nations that make our decisions based on our respective national interests. Yet we have been able to take our alliance to a new level because our interests and values are so closely aligned.
English point of view
Kim Willsher (The Guardian)
The United States is expected to roll out the red carpet for François Hollande on Monday as the president becomes the first French leader to make a state visit for nearly two decades.
The three-day visit, which includes a black-tie dinner at the White House and a trip in the presidential plane Air Force One, is seen as evidence of the close ties between the US and France.
As well as talks with Barack Obama, who has hosted only six state dinners since he took office in 2009, Hollande will visit Silicon Valley and have lunch with the heads of key new technology and social networking companies.
Around the state visit
David Jackson (Detroit Free Press)
President Obama will welcome French counterpart Francois Hollande to the United States on Monday with a visit to Monticello, the home of Thomas Jefferson.
The third president of the United States and his Virginia home are symbols of the "historic partnership" between the U.S. and France, the White House said in a statement.
Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, also served as an American diplomat in France, and was a major supporter of the French Revolution.
"As the residence of Thomas Jefferson, one of the United States' earliest envoys to France, Monticello reflects Jefferson's affection for the people of France, the long-standing relations between our two democracies, and the shared values we hold dear: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," said the White House.
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"10 February 2014 - Mr Hollande goes to Washington", La Clé des Langues [en ligne], Lyon, ENS de LYON/DGESCO (ISSN 2107-7029), octobre 2014. Consulté le 05/12/2023. URL: https://cle.ens-lyon.fr/anglais/key-story/archives-revue-de-presse-2014/10-february-2014-mr-hollande-goes-to-washington