February 11

Obama speaks out on Iran, Syria struggles

Obama made the remarks at a joint news conference with French President Francois Hollande, a key partner in both the Syrian and Iranian efforts.

By Julie Pace
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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President Barack Obama shakes hands with French President Francois Hollande after their news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Tuesday.

The Associated Press

Republicans trying to win control of the Senate in the November elections are making the health care law their top issue, criticizing it as a job-costing burden on businesses and individuals.

The remarks came at a news conference in the midst of an official state visit, held as Hollande is facing romantic upheaval that resulted in his showing up stag to the White House. The 59-year-old ended his relationship last month with girlfriend and French first lady Valerie Trierweiler after it was revealed that he was having an affair with an actress.

The White House has carefully avoided any mention of Hollande’s personal drama and has moved forward with a grand welcome reserved only for America’s closest allies.

On a cold February morning, Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and a military honor guard welcomed Hollande as he arrived on the South Lawn of the White House. The two leaders shook hands before a cheering crowd, many waving American and French flags, and greeted two American military veterans who served in France during World War II.

Following the arrival ceremony, Obama and Hollande held a private meeting in the Oval Office before appearing before the press in the East Room. The Obamas planned to fete Hollande at a grand state dinner Tuesday night attended by more than 300 dignitaries and celebrities.

Follow Julie Pace at http://twitter.com/jpaceDC

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