Obama to host French president in February

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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.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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