Obama meets French President Francois Hollande


US President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande smile during a bilateral meeting in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on May 18, 2012 in advance of the G8 and NATO Summits.



President Barack Obama welcomed his newly sworn in French counterpart to the White House on Friday, according to AFP.

Obama told Francois Hollande, a Socialist, that France and America's bilateral relationship is "deeply valued" by Americans, while they held Oval Office talks on the euro crisis ahead of the G8 conference, said AFP.

The Washington Post reported that the two leaders were set to meet for 45 minutes in the Oval Office and deliver statements to the press before Obama heads to Camp David to welcome the G8 leaders for the summit this weekend.

After the meeting, Obama said the eurozone crisis was of great importance to the whole world, according to the BBC. Hollande said, "We have the same conviction that Greece must remain in the eurozone."

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On Thursday, White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said, "I at this point frankly see a good relationship building between us already," though he acknowledged that Obama and Hollande will need to work through France's commitments in Afghanistan, according to Bloomberg.

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Hollande had campaigned on a pledge to withdraw the 3,300 French troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. After meeting with Obama, he said France would continue to support Afghanistan in a "different way," though he did not provide details, according to the Associated Press.

Leaders from the US, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and Russia will meet at Camp David to discuss whether the eurozone debt crisis should be handled through further austerity or economic stimulus, according to CNN. They are also likely to discuss Iran's nuclear issue and the bloody clashes in Syria.

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