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Obama to host French president in February

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Photo - FILE - In this June 18, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama, accompanied by French President Francois Hollande waves during a group photo opportunity at the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. President Barack Obama says Hollande will make a state visit to the U.S. in February. Obama says in a statement that the U.S. and France are close friends and allies, including through NATO, and have worked in tandem for more than 200 years to support democracy, liberty and freedom at home. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)
FILE - In this June 18, 2013 file photo, President Barack Obama, accompanied by French President Francois Hollande waves during a group photo opportunity at the G-8 summit at the Lough Erne golf resort in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland. President Barack Obama says Hollande will make a state visit to the U.S. in February. Obama says in a statement that the U.S. and France are close friends and allies, including through NATO, and have worked in tandem for more than 200 years to support democracy, liberty and freedom at home. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis, File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says his French counterpart, Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND'), will make a state visit to the U.S. in February.

The trip includes a formal White House dinner on Feb. 11 for Hollande and his companion, Valerie Trierweiler.

Obama says in a statement that the U.S. and France are close friends and allies, including through NATO, and have worked in tandem for more than 200 years to support democracy, liberty and freedom at home.

That long-standing relationship, however, has been tested by recent revelations that U.S. intelligence agencies had spied on a number of its allies, including France.

Hollande's state visit will be the first one of Obama's second term.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff canceled her state visit last month to protest U.S. spying on her country.

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