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Hollande to chow down with Russia, US leaders

AFP/The Local · 4 Jun 2014, 08:59

Published: 04 Jun 2014 08:59 GMT+02:00

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French President Francois Hollande has a busy evening planned for Thursday in Paris -- and he better work up an appetite.

First on his agenda, dinner at a Parisian restaurant (no name disclosed) with US President Barack Obama, the French leader's office said Tuesday.

Obama will be in France for the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings that turned the tide of World War II, which will be marked at special ceremonies in Normandy on Friday.

However he is not the only top leader passing through the City of Light on his way to Normandy.

Paris will also welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose aggressive policies in Ukraine have caused the worst East-West relations since the Cold War.

After meeting with Obama for a 7:00 pm dinner the French president will squeeze in a "souper" (light supper) with Putin at the Elysee Palace around 9:00 pm.

At the two dinner dates, the conversation will include the crisis in Ukraine where the new pro-West Kiev government is battling a pro-Russian insurgency in the east of the country, Hollande's office said.

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But after the meals don't expect any press conferences, it added. 

While Hollande is making the rounds in Paris, Obama and Putin are not expected to cross paths until all invited leaders gather for lunch in Normandy at the Benouville chateau followed by the D-Day ceremonies at Ouistreham.

AFP/The Local (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

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