White House confirms Sarkozy visit January 10

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy will visit Washington next month and hold talks with his US counterpart Barack Obama on January 10, the White House said Friday.

"I can confirm" the French leader's visit, White House spokesman Tommy Vietor told AFP, without providing further details.

The Elysee presidential palace announced Thursday that Sarkozy would visit the US capital to discuss the agendas of next year's G8 and G20 summits with Obama.

France currently holds the rotating presidency of the G20 forum of the world's 20 largest economies, and in 2011 will chair the G8, comprised of six major Western powers, Russia and Japan.

Obama is on a 10-day year-end vacation in his home island state of Hawaii, and returns to Washington in early January.

He and Sarkozy last met at a November NATO summit in Lisbon, but January's get-together will be their first since WikiLeaks published several classified US diplomatic cables, including some that portrayed Sarkozy as "viscerally" pro-American but also as a touchy, erratic partner with a complex private life.

© 2010 AFP

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