French leader to open unusual state visit to US
WASHINGTON (AP) — An ocean away from his romantic troubles, French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND') is opening his state visit to the U.S. by joining President Barack Obama for a tour of Thomas Jefferson's picturesque estate.
The visit to Monticello is designed to showcase enduring U.S. ties with France, its oldest ally. Hollande is not being accompanied by a first lady on his trip.
Jefferson was an early U.S. envoy to France and is honored with a statue in France. Monday marks the first time a sitting president has visited Monticello with a current foreign head of state.
After returning to Washington in the evening, Hollande will be welcomed Tuesday at an official arrival ceremony. Obama and Hollande will hold a joint news conference before a state dinner feting the French president.