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France

Obama touches down for D-Day commemorations

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-06-06

US President Barack Obama arrived in France on Friday where he is to attend international ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of the World War II D-day landings. His wife and daughter earlier visited the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

AFP - US President Barack Obama landed late Friday in France where he is to attend international ceremonies marking the 65th anniversary of World War II D-day landings.

Obama arrived on Air Force One at Orly airport at 9:13 pm (1913 GMT), after visiting a former Nazi camp in Germany, and was met on the tarmac by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner.

As Obama travelled in to Paris the US First Lady Michelle Obama and her young daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, seven, paid a brief trip to the Eiffel Tower Friday evening.

The president and his family were to spend Friday night at the US embassy in Paris, before travelling to the north of France Saturday.

On the eve of France's participation in the European Parliament election, Obama will join French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Caen and give a speech at the US war cemetery at nearby Colleville-sur-mer.

Obama's great-uncle, Charlie Payne, 84 and frail but among the liberators of the Buchenwald camp complex the president visited in central Germany, will join Obama's party in Normandy.

Further visits to Paris' Notre Dame cathedral and the Pompidou centre are also on the menu along with a dinner with Sarkozy and his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy before returning to the US.

Date created : 2009-06-05

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