Feb. 11 - President Obama welcomes French President Francois Hollande to the White House as the two leaders hold talks during state visit. Linda So reports.
Washington rolled out the red carpet for a ceremonial state visit. President Obama and the First Lady greeted French President Francois Hollande as he arrived at the White House on Tuesday. The leaders stood side by side for the outdoor ceremony as a military band played the national anthems of each country. Obama and Hollande took time to greet people who had gathered on the South Lawn before making brief remarks. SOUNDBITE: U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "Today, on behalf of the American people and Michelle and myself, it is a great honor to welcome my friend, President Hollande and his delegation for their first state visit to the United States; in fact, the first state visit by a French president in nearly 20 years." SOUNDBITE: FRENCH PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, SAYING: "It's cold in Washington, but it's a beautiful day, a great day for America and France." The two leaders headed over to the Oval Office for official talks. At a joint news conference following the meeting, Obama and Hollande said they stand united on key issues from Syria to Iran. SOUNDBITE: U.S. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA, SAYING: "President Hollande and I agree on the need to continue enforcing existing sanctions, even as we believe that new sanctions during these negotiations would endanger the possibility of a diplomatic solution. We remain absolutely united on our ultimate goal, which is preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." A lavish state dinner will be held Tuesday night to honor the French president.