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With no first lady, French leader Hollande visits US focusing on state, not personal, affairs

Monday - 2/10/2014, 12:01pm  ET

PARIS (AP) -- France's president is scheduled to begin a state visit to the U.S. with the spotlight's glare still on his personal life.

Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND') wants to focus on major policy issues with President Barack Obama. Hollande drew headlines last month after reports of tryst with a French actress unbeknownst to his first lady, to whom he wasn't married. The couple has split.

However, the embattled Socialist leader will be able to bask in some symbolic glow. Obama is still widely liked in France, and Hollande will get the grand reception reserved for America's closest allies. He and Obama will visit Monticello in Charlottesville today, and Arlington National Cemetery tomorrow.

This will be the first time a sitting president has visited Monticello with a current foreign head of state.

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