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Sarkozy, Obama plan low-key meeting


By Al Kamen
Don't mark your calendars! According to an official French communique released Tuesday afternoon, French President Nicolas Sarkozy is coming to Washington March 30 to meet with President Obama, have a joint press conference and a private dinner for the "two presidential couples."

Alas, this mini-summit will not be a state visit, which could include a dinner with a tent, the glitz and maybe the Salahis. This meeting is styled an "official visit," a much less formal affair. We're told French presidents, by tradition, only do one state visit to a country during their terms, and Sarkozy attended one back in 2007. (News that Sarkozy was headed this way broke last week in a blog on New York Social Diary by former CBS producer and local restaurateur Carol Joynt.)

Sarkozy's visit comes at a time when European allies are most unhappy with, and feeling snubbed by, the Obama administration. That feeling increased after Obama recently decided to skip the U.S.-European Union summit set for Madrid in May.

Sarkozy, who has been pilloried in the French press for not developing the tight relationship with Obama that the French leader is said to have craved, is also coming back to Washington in mid-April for an Obama-hosted summit with a couple dozen countries to take about nuclear security matters -- also known as the "Loose Nukes" summit.

The North Koreans and Iranians likely won't show, but maybe the Iraqis could give the keynote address? After all, they no longer have their nuclear arsenal.

By Al Kamen  |  February 23, 2010; 3:40 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama  
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