Obama invites Hollande to White House

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IOL pic may7 barack obama Associated Press (File image) United States President Barack Obama

Washington - President Barack Obama congratulated Francois Hollande on his victory on Sunday in the French presidential election and invited him to the White House this month.

Obama phoned Hollande and “indicated that he looks forward to working closely” with him and his government on a “range of shared economic and security challenges”, the White House said in a statement.

Obama noted that he will welcome Hollande to the presidential retreat at Camp David in Maryland for the G8 Summit and to Chicago for the Nato Summit. Both events are this month.

Obama proposed that they meet beforehand at the White House.

The White House had watched with wariness over the past few weeks as Hollande maintained a lead in the polls over current French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Hollande has pledged to pull French troops out of Afghanistan by the end of 2012, two years earlier than the Nato withdrawal schedule. - Reuters

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