What a difference a decade makes. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande penned a joint op-ed detailing how the countries' "alliance has transformed."
Monday's Washington Post article highlighted recent improvements in relations in the wake of the diplomatic breakdown between former presidents George W. Bush and Jacques Chirac over the Iraq War. In response to Chirac's refusal to back the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, some Americans renamed their French fries "freedom fries" and boycotted imports such as cheese and wine.
"A decade ago, few would have imagined our two countries working so closely together in so many ways. But in recent years our alliance has transformed," read the piece, which carried both leaders' names and cited how the countries are working together to contain Iran's nuclear ambitions and other issues. "Rooted in a friendship stretching back more than two centuries, our deepening partnership offers a model for international cooperation."
Hollande is due to attend a state dinner with the Obamas on Tuesday.
The article is the latest in a slew of op-eds written by world leaders. Russian President Vladimir Putin wrote about Syria in the New York Times on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. This drew a scathing rebuttal from Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) in Russian online newspaper Pravda.ru.
A little more than a week after Putin's piece, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani set out his apparently moderate agenda in an op-ed in the Washington Post.
First published February 10 2014, 1:42 AM
Alexander Smith is a freelance reporter at NBCNews.com, based in London. He started work there in August, 2013, and is responsible for covering breaking news and working with overseas correspondents. He started working at NBC News having been at its standalone startup BreakingNews.com, where he was a breaking news editor. There, he was responsible for using social media to find, verify and publish breaking stories. Before his work at Breaking News, he was a reporter in the regional press where he covered crime and courts.