French President Joins Obama at White House News Conference

Both leaders discuss the importance of a strong relationship between the two nations.
3:00 | 02/11/14

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

More information on this video
Enhanced full screen
Explore related content
Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for French President Joins Obama at White House News Conference
This is a special room. I'm Michelle Franzen in New York with this ABC news digital special report. President Obama welcomed French president France -- all on to the White House this morning. It marks the official start to a state visit on important policy policy issues. The talks on Iran Syria and other world problems have been overshadowed by the French leader's personal life. ABC news political director Rick Klein joins us now from Washington Rick president France while Alonso and the president got right busy. This morning they retreated to the Oval Office after the arrival ceremony this morning and what are some of that important topics will be covering. During the state visit France has. -- suddenly become these staunchest American ally on the UN Security Council and elsewhere they've -- middle east policy Syria. And and Libya included in that they also climate change policy that they're working on together. They become military ally strategic allies and partners in so many ways. And that's why the the literal and figurative red carpet being rolled out over a couple of days of of important meetings important symbolism of the friendship between these two nations we -- at this moment we're waiting for a joint press conference -- the two -- hold at the White House. There been some drama surrounding president. -- on -- of the United States and we've seen now both of them. Walking out it's going to listen and they're just a moment -- street. Good afternoon. -- opportunity. Again it's great honor to welcome my friend and partner. President. -- long -- the White House for the state visit. It is always a pleasure to host -- At Camp David two years ago I was. Trying to make this summit casual and -- onto French style showed up in the next time we tried to get him taken off. When -- -- him in Chicago for the NATO summit. I thought it dry summer local cuisine. Chicago style hot wrong. I'm not sure he had won but. We we do know that he's -- American fast food in the past because this happens to be the fortieth anniversary. -- -- first trip to America. As the storm. And I understand he traveled across our country studying the fast food industry. Sort back in 1974 you noticed a French -- poking around your local McDonald's. That was him. Now he's back -- the 24 president of France and Michelle and I look forward to hosting and tonight. At a state dinner where -- -- different kind of American losing. Alex -- Tocqueville. -- son of France who chronicled our American democracy. -- that even as we marvel at our freedom. There's nothing harder than learning how to use our freedom. It's a lesson that our two countries have learned. Over more than 200 years. Standing together and using our freedom to improve the lives of not only our citizens -- people around the world is what makes France not only America's oldest ally but also -- to work. -- tell us. Our military and intelligence personnel cooperate every day keeping our -- secure and dealing. -- crises. And challenges from Africa to the Persian gulf. Our diplomats work side by side to help resolve conflicts and promote peace from Syria to Iraq. Our development experts help impoverished villages boost their agriculture and lift themselves out of poverty. And this level of partnership across so many areas would have been unimaginable. Even a decade ago. But it's a testament to how our two nations have work to transform our alliance and a lot of salute president mall -- -- this work forward. -- you haven't just spoken eloquently about France's determination to meet its responsibilities. As a global leader. You've also acted. -- -- And the Central African Republic to Syria and Iran you showed courage and resolve and I want to thank you for your leadership. For being such a strong partner to the United States. And in that spirit I'm grateful for the progress we've made -- today in four key areas. First were standing shoulder to shoulder on the key challenges to global secure. Our unity -- RP five plus one partners backed with strong sanctions. Has succeeded in halting and rolling back key parts of the Iran -- nuclear program. We -- the next week's talks in Vienna will be an opportunity for Iran to show that it is serious about -- comprehensive solution that assures the world. That its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes only. At present -- on -- agreed on the need to continue enforcing existing sanctions even as we believe it. New sanctions during these negotiations would endanger the possibility of a diplomatic solution. And we remain absolutely united on our ultimate goal which is preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear -- Justices or. Unity on Syria and the credible. Threat of force wasn't a plan for destroying a serious chemical weapons. Word united on what needs to happen next bear. Syria must meet its commitments and Russia has a responsibility to ensure that Syria compliance. As talks continue in Geneva will continue to strengthen the moderate opposition. And we call on the international community to stem the flow of foreign fighters into certain. This week were working with our Security Council partners. To call for an end to indiscriminate attacks on civilians. And in short humanitarian aid workers have unimpeded access. To Syrians in need. And we'll continue to work with France and others to bolster our partners in the region. Including Lebanon. More -- As Israelis and Palestinians move forward with -- talks we agree that France and the European Union will have an important role in supporting a final agreement. And we also agreed to continue our cooperation on Molly and the Central African Republic where. Leaders and communities need to show the courage to resist further violence and to pursue. Reconciliation. Second key area. As major trading partners. Were working to boost exports and create jobs. I'm pleased to announce that were launching a new economic dialogue to expand trade increase the competitiveness. Of our businesses. Spur innovation and encourage new -- from -- and present belongs to visit to Silicon Valley this week. Underscores our commitment new collaborations in science and technology. Related to this we've agreed to continue pursuing an ambitious and comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership. Want to thank president -- long for his commitment to these negotiations. We need to get this done because an agreement could increase exports by tens of billions of dollars. Support hundreds of thousands of additional jobs both in the United States and the European Union and promote -- on both sides of the Atlantic. Number three. We've agreed to keep expanding cooperation. And clean energy partnerships that make our country's leaders in the fight against climate change. Even as we take steps at home to reduce carbon emissions work to help developing countries move to low carbon growth. The next year's -- Climate conference in France will be an -- to forge a strong global agreement reduces greenhouse gas emissions. Through concrete actions. And finally were moving forward together. He global development missions the food and it's food security nutrition. That can lift fifty -- -- Africans out of poverty. Our determination to replenish the global fund to fight aids. TB and malaria. And I'm pleased that were joining with partners around the world on a new global health security effort to combat infectious diseases and save lives. So this is just some of the progress we're making together. Using our freedoms to -- to talk -- works to advance security prosperity and human dignity around the world. And Francois on this worker could not be more grateful for your partnership and friendship. I especially want to thank you for honoring our. And I'm very pleased to announce that have accepted -- -- invitation and will travel to France in June to mark the seventieth. Anniversary of 65 anniversary and it was an extraordinary experience I'm looking forward to returning to honor our remarkable veterans and to reaffirm. This extraordinary alliance. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- you usually go move. We'll give you -- news will none -- -- extra you have. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Would -- goodies you've if it wasn't producing fact that -- -- to to did you feel losses to alcohol. Between government and -- sure it is an -- because Aaron Nixon had been obvious to welcoming -- beyond any -- -- its employees an -- poetry is a pretty good about America was moving forward to pop out small do all America everything we believe to make -- received something of possible. To make progress possible costume idea actor you'd bring news receive -- -- need to hear it was in Japan traders are gonna come out. That's forgets about the -- -- usually as you can see him wearing a tie today. -- -- -- -- -- Does have looked -- it could yeah. You welcome me at a time preference is -- challenges from well -- -- -- -- -- -- -- what was at stake -- -- the very -- in the senate leaders have -- popular figures are you going to be a Coulter you don't you come out to the -- that is -- doubts it was a democratic prevailed on the -- a and I didn't as dark days and if you will call for senator parity and progressive. -- percent and was extremely useful back then Dupree. They give them big utility he'd always this meeting and outdated -- -- has come out that -- did financial crisis it now has to -- -- didn't evidence -- instrument is close to fifty tons would be valuable care and it has introduced through his Julia thanks you did not -- They are also remember are meeting in each account -- -- video and city. I remember up through Latin of course has the Carter -- announced that Hans would have to withdraw its combative by diesel -- from Afghanistan -- uphold. That wasn't an easy decision to make and twelve months and easy decision doesn't understand and yet. You 600 is up hoping she'd do -- -- in the past -- -- -- time you know premised on. Despite the hipster could not Lou levels as you were. New men move -- did. We have to oppose it book. Mitt Madison C a patent and -- giddy times book culprits but -- accepted -- -- -- within -- Vision that Minnesota for the Baltimore also because this -- -- also commitment may come aboard this default the Frenchman looked -- it to the one you made before the American people living up clearly came to Iraq notice -- he still weak and viewed for the -- about to a doctor -- every cold started today's obsession to. And -- who noticed mentioned again usually numerous arson local and yesterday in mount Taylor for that like -- the dollar -- a community hatred he's guilty of the will be an American and their and so to you failed you're hearing -- to to -- all. -- veterans American veterans have the second zones or politically -- given -- -- found to be integrated and indeed Europe todos it was a we will commemorate the seventieth anniversary of enough -- -- look at this will be a strong message is simple commemorates. The sacrifice -- -- and army soldiers should. But what will happen and there's celebrate become sick you'll the list he says -- -- -- case on the brings -- back to our Soviet. How to responsibilities intensity to secure its old took the bronze in the United States sought to control -- -- quote. -- -- -- -- Mainly as doughnuts that you -- -- closed due to that history can be a place in history if you don't Sochi to drastically -- has focused rather reminds -- of the UN Security Council learned -- the put -- -- -- I just on the security threats could also have written an act of democracy and the rule of Norman this is precisely what -- -- with -- help implement our American friends and I'll leave you know delivering movies from that to make it possible commodity to recover the costs -- Territory if he's actually see this operation was successful and up here at Douglas of -- -- -- -- yeah issue. An Israeli accessible because the decision was made by the national unity council member to a successful -- Americans it took probably going to be because European isn't -- celts. As well -- beat Americans company is also a test of sorts. Whom -- the president has been elected in -- Booth endlessly. Ahmad in states that now to begin book that there -- found in most authorities gigantic wheels are -- -- in the US central -- Republican completely different colors are good meticulous off. But the idea was to protect -- -- could've been -- he's actually wound humanitarian disaster only. We bu PS who did you know that being or read a little but -- lose elections should true -- better it's the fictitious hit me yet denials population than it was already suffered a great deal about five official development data classes every day of the -- -- fumbles. Evicted because it is an eight what they count to two win over the health -- outages and nations and with the help of -- -- -- is that America has. Don't talk to do and this has witnessed it and an exceptional situation -- history because outcomes physical within the alliance and have always been friends -- now him. We -- sort of riposte to practice and then unprecedented unrest in Atlanta Falcons of whom it depends -- -- -- -- his characteristic about personal and boxer also I'll still news com coupons for gay Barack Obama Joseph -- you can reminded us of found this incidence area. A local we have enough we -- -- resorts to force. News of a -- will be no hope she pushed clowns and another officer negotiation with the whole. Give me that this group Schultz we need Jim made it possible to faulty parts of the chemical weapon may talk about the middle of obstacle movie that's what -- -- -- But we have -- -- phones. They needed to going to stop. -- -- to -- -- Geneva resources it is impossible step in the right to record video we'll have to make headway it will have to cooperate may also could -- services cooperate more we need to -- couldn't get an existing law. We need to make sure the -- absent that the choice is not. -- new -- hotel dangerous it from the one has an issue I'm with a more details as extra on the opera details Olympic slots of the fundamentalists. And extremists the amendment did we found little dude who -- -- to -- Intelligent and -- stupidity identity on the -- go and bring in dosage we found common ground its annual challenging -- them. If she did -- and -- -- did -- find an agreement flew -- -- Beyond that you will not challenge but you -- in the evening news we have -- we program. The government suspended put up and this is precisely the outcome of the population. It's an outrage is that you France and the united way -- -- -- sensitivity I was in the middle these kids than any kid and I would allocate it to be an American in this until -- resume. An -- -- -- we're just in some great -- of course agree -- needs to be science more now visit France and Europe. We'll move certainly sure he gets it through mutual gives us supports two pets to say it is -- -- -- -- -- should consider buying out wholesale of extremely attempt idiotic -- and let it of course is Lebanon and it won't succumb to sort of problems has historic title -- So move also. It there again -- -- France and the United States should be. Staff busy side by side in order to help this country released through this massive -- credits unless you want to we'll movement there's risks of classes that go -- -- you because he's. And this Christmas was also content suitable precipitously as -- reality and it's and we need to support to Lebanon and to make sure that -- miserable took in his students who -- -- official -- its -- you did if -- also help children shooter also received -- -- Greenwich is so on the old who. Internationally -- and it shall we. Have to -- but it -- -- eligible you must understand and I did not stop -- and that's -- Hussein cardinal -- did -- -- -- probably disagreed we might be -- allies and a -- was pleased that we always respect each other's sovereignty -- whose regime who would -- news sure we'll fundamental principle denomination we also acts. And that he could do from the peaceful does America. Experience is -- your recovery. And -- discredit him in the game due to be. Public school. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- A graduate visible and was due to compete it is necessary -- -- -- -- circular its competitor if it is true -- necessary to sort of Sony music but also to promote. Don't innovation and humanitarian that is precisely off meaning of my visit -- -- to the content -- inaudible and news. Why don't we agreed we. And you can continue watching this news conference at abcnews.com. Right now for some perspective on this joint press conference I want to bring in again ABC news political director. Rick Klein. Rick some lighthearted moments this morning between that French and US president but also some serious undertones. President Obama outlining four key issues that he and French president Francois -- discuss this morning what -- You know I think this is important to underline admitted that the there are areas where the United States and France are working very closely right now Middle East peace is -- -- one of them Libya. Syria. Nuclear disarmament climate change these are all issues the right now where the US and France are working very very closely together so what on one level -- you -- there's a joking. Relationship here there's a reference to the big guy that was at that McDonald's back in her hometown that French sky high. -- -- -- -- But there's a realization that the president's personal needs to meet the French understand how important this relationship is and to demonstrate to other US allies -- -- the country -- you get it plays well back home potentially as well -- the country that you get when you -- with United States and some of these priorities and -- -- President Obama wants to reiterate that to the French people but what about here in the US -- what sort of seldom seen need to -- to the American people. I think it's it is interesting to note that -- unlike a lot of foreign visits this is actually one that does not included the joint address to congress and there is -- speculation around that that this is this still reflect some uneasiness between the US. And French. People in terms of the that wars of the last ten years. We aren't that far removed from the freedom Fries episode on Capitol Hill a lot of Republicans in particular so mistrustful of the French the -- -- come a long way and I think that's one thing the Obama White House wants to emphasize. And I tell you just driving around Washington is seen those French flags flying high on some major boulevards that was impossible to understand not too long -- during the Bush Administration -- I want to touch on one key point also that came out of that that was about the the talks about. Certainly what's going to be going on next week in Vienna with the nuclear talks with -- -- Yet look at -- lead -- obviously all issues around -- -- are important the United States right now and knowing how the position he works here. And knowing that the Russians have -- allied themselves with the Iranians the Chinese as well using the French as leverage as part of the negotiations. North Korea another issue where the French -- are playing a critical role. It's just again just the full scope of this relationship having come full circle over the last couple years the key thing for the president is that when you've got a friend like France Italy and the current. Administration and president along you have to nurture that you have to work that and you have to move it forward we also heard a little bit -- -- from the president that he will be back in France in June visiting Normandy. That of course a critical part of the history between these two countries the seventieth anniversary of the Normandy invasion the American led Normandy invasion helped liberate France. Yeah President Obama describing they US relationship with France as one of the oldest and closest of allies of course you mentioned. That. Later today will be honoring some of the US World War II that's. That's right in his questioning here begins that -- that something that's important for the French to realize as well with the United States had such a key role. In liberating their country they've been honoring a number of World War II veterans who served. On French soil including a number of gentlemen and they're now ladies and and and early ninety's. Who will be honored today in person one of the -- fascinating marquis said. That he hadn't seen a French president in person since Charles de Gaulle in 1944 -- looking forward to seeing another one. All right thank you for hanging out with us here we want to go back to the east room in the White House where they are starting to take some questions from friends you. Portland I think the Syrian regime is essentially starving. Thousands of Syrians and homes and elsewhere. Everybody agrees. That more pressure needs to be brought to bear on the inside regime to change this this deadly equation. And so I wonder. Beyond the general statements -- made what additional tangible steps did you discuss in your meetings today. To help the moderate the moderate opposition to try to change that equation on the ground. And and secondly true mystery of the -- don't. Humiliating. -- of -- Suppose it has shown on tape. I get my friend announcement. How is it okay for a trade delegation with a hundred -- CEOs. To travel to Tehran to explore business opportunities. When the thank you. -- -- -- -- -- into serious question. We still have horrendous situation on the ground -- I don't think anybody -- -- And what is -- -- clear is that. With each passing day more people inside officers -- The state of Syria itself. It is. That is bad for Syria is bad for the region it is bad for. Global national security because. What we can always is that there are extremists who. Have moved into the vacuum in certain portions of Syrian -- Could threaten us over the long term so this is one of our highest national -- priorities and I know that. Francois -- looks the same way and and many of our European partners. As well as our partners in the region feel the same -- The Geneva process. Recognizes. That if we're gonna solve this problem -- we have to find a political solution. And the first Geneva conference. Committed to a transition process. That war could. Preserve and protect. The state of serious. War accommodate. The various. Sectarian. Interests inside -- So that no one party was down. And that would allow us to return to. Some semblance of normalcy and allow all the people who have been displaced to start moving back and we are far from achieving that yet. I would not completely discount the fact. That in this latest round of negotiations. What you saw was a coherent cohesive. Reasonable. Opposition. In the same room for the first time negotiate directly with the regime -- the regime. Assad regime. Wasn't particularly responsible. And I think even some of their patrons we're disturbed by. They're belligerents. But. -- we are gonna continue to commit. Not just pressure -- -- -- but also to get countries like Russia. And -- -- to recognize that. It is in nobody's interest to see the continuing what should -- and collapse that's taking place inside that country. You asked tangible steps that we can take both France and the United States continue to sporting moderate opposition. We are continuing to provide enormous amounts of humanitarian aid. One of the problems we have right now is. Humanitarian access to deliver -- -- and as we speak today. UN Security Council. We will be debating. A resolution that would permit. Much greater access for humanitarian aid workers to. Get food. Water. Shelter. -- Fuels people who needed. Now all. There is great unanimity. Among most of the security council on this resolution Russia is holed up. And stricter Kerry and others -- delivered very direct message to the Russians that. They cannot say they are concerned about the well being of the Syrian people when they're starving civilians. And that it is not just the -- that are responsible the Russians as well if we are blocking. This kind of resolution so. But that is an example of the kinds of diplomatic work but we are. Engaging and right now. But -- nobody's gonna deny that. There's enormous frustration here and I think. The honorable. Underlying promised to the question may be. Up is there additional direct action or military action that can be taken that would resolve the problem in Syria. I have said. Throughout my presidency that I always reserve the right to exercise. Military action. On behalf of America's national security interest. But -- has to be deployed wisely. And I think that what we saw with -- -- chemical weapons situation -- an example of don't judicious and wise use of possible. Military action. In partnership with friends we said we would be prepared to act if Syria did not. Syria. And Russia. Came to the conclusion that. They needed to for the first time acknowledged the presence of chemical weapons and then agree to it very. Extensive. Deal to get those chemical weapons out. Your right but so far they've missed deadlines on the other hand we've completely chronicled. All the chemical weapons inside officer. A portion of those chemical weapons have been removed. There's been a reaffirmation by the Syrians and Russia. That all of it -- be rubble and concrete steps are being taken. To remove. And we will continue to keep pressure on what we now have a UN. Mandate. With consequences if there's a fairly. Something that we did not have before. Whether we can duplicate. That kind of process when it comes of the larger. Resolution of the problem. Right now we don't think that. There's a military solution -- -- to the problem. But the situation is fluid and we are -- to explore every possible avenue to solve this problem because. It's not just heartbreaking to see what the Syrian people it's very dangerous for the region as a whole we're. Friends and allies and partners like Lebanon. Or Jordan that are being adversely impacted by. -- -- -- make one last comment with respect to -- Iran sanctions. We have been extraordinarily for. That. Even during this interim agreement. We will fully enforce. All applicable sanctions. In fact we've taken various steps just over the last. 67 weeks to identify. Companies that we felt were violating sanctions and have been very clear to me -- there's not going to be any let up. In discussions with. Present law he feels the same -- -- -- -- -- and so businesses may be exploring. Are there are some positive donors to give in sooner. Rather than later if and when there is actual agreement to be had but it. I can tell you that. They do so at their -- -- right now. Because we won't come down on them like a ton of bricks. You know -- respect to the sanctions that we control and we expect full compliance. With respect to -- during this you know we don't want new sanctions because -- one -- employers are squeezing Iran and brought them to the table. But we're also wants send a message to Iran -- that if they don't. Resolve this broader issue of their nuclear program. That there will be consequences and that the sanctions regime not only will stay in place but -- Will likely be tight in the event of peace talks back. Will pocket do it simply -- -- -- the Iraq. Did you very comprehensive or truthful -- so began arguing people's case the friends and parents on the issue of the equipment that you and book humanized through festival to -- its suit. There's so division to sit in -- -- here and -- an industry conference at culturally received -- or make political tone assistance principally it's not about discussing. Something more individual human humanitarian measures sit. Don't leave this all about making source national small wooden bats a Duvall political tumult was possible -- -- it eventually. We'll have to take place since -- new. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- We entirely confident the democratic position definitely didn't you can't get -- cannot -- these allegations demonstrate this in the they for -- to commit to tell us what to produce process and through its presence. -- -- -- -- -- -- That hockey -- regime. -- -- -- Their prize for guessing. It is the Syrian regime of -- you. We increased human. Beautiful Asian it will bottle odd observation the conclusion. -- that -- -- community should help but I don't do humanitarian situation and that is why residents who prepared to take don't go live in the USC. And the -- thank you book. Newly commodities to appease unions speaks clearly -- uniqueness here. The series also -- on the field. Astute question about the man -- sponsors. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Parents to get these legitimate verification just -- she needs that question. The chemical weapons -- -- in what -- Iraq upon myself. We lose it got caught up. UV when. You are presented with a giving him just call them she -- Upon religion and use that have been -- puzzled by will be -- Assad regime of chemical weapons if I couldn't -- and -- resorting to force auxiliary you're an option and that is as to precisely because -- the -- decision unique was just that's the option open to -- to presume -- announcer. Ultimate agenda. It is precisely for representative President Putin made -- often circumstances -- are all for Indianapolis is that this would choose this option and we've made it to you -- destruction decided no -- -- chemical weapons quits yet I agree with -- -- carries a long winded process it's any possible dissidents and yeah certainly doesn't give your people nearly far enough into the -- until proven its worth I'm tempted to particularly within the framework of the didn't do his Security Council masseuse didn't reservation in case. Of none of certain that someone and we shall resort Zell is missions he's gonna enforce a terrible -- chemical weapons have to -- a -- -- out. Fully human impressionable the excessive foot youngster told you would have to go Schwab. And then so visitors to view -- shall democracy preachers to support -- halted for democratic position. We -- to make sources that you doubts that he let he democratic position it well it's an excellent -- -- -- -- even though negotiations will have to take place. Analysts Geneva for the -- -- -- -- -- to some -- you're asking a question about style. French businessmen who did this but yeah Iran's spiritual that tripped her on the -- with those of you who are unfamiliar on the democratic -- -- -- -- natural president of the Republicans -- also president of the employees union and you could open up and he certainly doesn't wish to have it was g.'s post event and and I don't think anyone questions -- -- -- -- -- -- to -- -- -- just -- -- -- when -- -- -- that this doesn't -- -- -- -- -- -- this social do let them about sanctions wearing because she's going back and read between a married couple holes. If context he's been a -- Sort of got a window it accepted it refutes to wouldn't sit Jimoh music -- an honest situation -- Iran would have. Renowned signal their opinion here weapons we -- for the issue comprehensively tackled through. Well and -- substance abuse of grace with prevailed natives massive agreements -- -- move I told the multiple. French businessmen and epic emotional way with the situation and Newt who want to put an espouse sanctions a neighborhood near you lift it if and went -- in good spirits but that he definite agreement shall. Police officer during this period to open interim agreements they've remained -- he's truthful assessment no. French question perhaps -- You'll figure out -- Thank you Mr. President for school went from for the French nation and for taking our questions. You have. Perhaps you praise and granted it is praised France very warm today and granted. Princeton different state visit to his second term. Does that mean that France has become the best European ally of the US and has been placed great reason at all. After all -- still. But why not extend. Constant news -- agreements. And that's just how weak that England's two Pete Kendall of the NSC is he gets. Program. And that should -- And we emotional. India's defence minister and president was -- -- a phrase into the accident C of the Franco American you know cooperation about it. Houston he put on the ground here -- that exists in other differences in -- -- and that this is between France and what America. Homes -- palm PD and necessity to you have an ambitious agreement must -- do you fear that Americans be prepared to make too many contestants and -- -- First of all. I have two daughters. They are being gorgeous. And wonderful. And I would never choose between. And that's how I feel about. My outstanding. European partners. All of them. Our wonderful of their -- works. Now two took this to -- the serious part question what would I do believe is that the US. French alliance as it has never been strong. And the levels of cooperation the worsening across a whole range of issues. Is. Much deeper than it was. Five years -- or ten years reporters. And that's good for France's good for the United States is good for the world because we share certain values of certain moments. And are willing to act on behalf of those -- dollars. -- respect true the NSA obviously. I expressed. My news. My strong commitment to making sure that our -- rules and how we. Approach. Intelligence and surveillance not -- than. You're not just -- respect true any particular country but worldwide. That we do it in a way -- it takes into account being incredible changes in technology and there. New capacities. That have been -- -- over the last. Several years and the first place that. We look to in terms of how we make sure there are rules are compatible with our partnerships and our friendships -- alliances was. Were countries like France that have been. Longtime allies of -- -- closest partners. It's not actually correct to say -- we have great quarter important no supply agreement with Great Britain that's not actually what happens while we don't have. There there's no country where we have a -- -- We hope we we have like every other country. -- and intelligence. Capability. And then we have a range of partnerships we've all kinds of countries and we've been consultations with the the French government to deepen. Those commitments at the same time what I've also sent both publicly and privately and I want to reiterate today to the French press. Is that we are committed to making sure that we are protecting and concerned about the privacy rights not just of Americans. Not just of our own citizens but people around the world as well that's a commitment by the way that's fairly unprecedented in terms of any country's intelligence. Operations and what we've said is that we are putting rules in place so event. Were not. Engaging in what some of the speculation has been. When it comes to ordinary citizens in -- we're respectful of their privacy rights and we're gonna make sure that our rules. Are abiding by concerns about -- those privacy rights we do remain. Concerned and it's Francis and as. Most of the EU is. -- you very specific. Potential. Terrorist networks that could it attacked us and kill innocent people. And we're gonna have to continue to be robust in pursuit of those specifically some concerns. But we have to do -- know when news. Compatible -- it the privacy rights that people in France rightly expects just like they do. Here in the United States. And the last point just because -- -- arrested or imprisoned -- what I want. Going to comment on this. The reason arrived -- the -- Is because we have a very high threshold in terms of what we expect out of -- proved to us that they are not pursuing nuclear weapons. And we were able to stitch together an international coalition. To apply sanctions to make sure that would be the case. I don't think the concern. During the course these negotiations is whether or not we are going to. Be. Making too many concessions that the concern is going to be whether or not Iran. Can. Recognize the opportunity. To prove any verifiable. Fashion to -- world. In ways through. Scientists and technical experts can confirm. That any nuclear program analyst for peaceful purposes. And the facts are what will guide. These negotiations. If they meet. What technically. Gives us those assurances. And there's a deal to be potentially made if they don't there isn't. And it's not subject to a whole lot of interpretation. There are some judgment. Issues involved but. Part of the reason we're where we are right now is because Iran hasn't been able to give those assurances. To anybody in the international news -- work. Pursuing -- nuclear -- that's why there was such unanimity in applying the sanctions and keeping them place. And you've been watching a news conference at abcnews.com you can continue watching that news conference but right now once again bringing back and ABC news political director Rick Klein Rick we've heard both president's. Addressing questions surrounding Syria and Iran what's the take away that -- you have. So intriguing because while the two countries are working together there are legitimate questions about some French business interests that have been. I'm making inroads into Iran and in this stark statement from the president we will come down you'll like a ton of bricks. Basically you get ahead of the sanctions -- in the efforts to disarm Iran and it's clear the president needs to guard -- -- like on this a little bit and encourage. -- he's cooperation with France as they try to engage in very delicate negotiations that it proceeded -- stops and starts. So the Iranian situation very much on his mind we know that we're at a critical time right now and he wants to -- -- that that the message goes out to all our allies to the business community to all business interests -- this is -- don't get ahead of this process let's work let's make sure it plays out. And that we will be serious about enforcing sanctions and forcing repercussions against businesses -- try to in at a. Now -- along with these serious questions that are being asked in the business at hand that this joint press conference there's also. Some fund that will be had later on tonight and there's also been some drama surrounding president all -- trip to the United States some uncertainty whether. France's First Lady would join him what's that all about. Well here's the thing is that his long term partner that their relationship fell apart just at the time that this entire event was coming together so. Literally there -- invitations engraved with both of their names -- -- -- destroyed and replaced with just his name. Turns out he's going stacked tonight no word from the White House though who he'll be -- with -- one of the questions that that are answered as Mary Mary. Provides the entertainment so yes it it is an interest thing a little twist into another Obama's state dinner we remember this a lot he's in the party crashing. We remember the cancellation of a state dinner that was held there was going to be help the president Brazil last year remember controversy over expensive bottles of wine. Is a reason that here in the six year of the Obama presidency they've only -- a small have. Well yes and I want it when I ask you they're supposed to be 300. Dignitaries there you mentioned one as a celebrity guests -- who else can we expect there at what about. What's on the menu. Well we don't know until people woods ultimately this will be guest list is actually released right around the time -- -- red carpet this evening people's hearts -- -- its economy and what's typically happen with these is that you have. Celebrities with -- maybe a French connection who might show up. -- you also have of course ambassadors and -- White House administration officials may be some prominent journalists prominent French Americans. Typically part of this now the menu was really interesting here because the thing is it looks very French actually however. It's all American made solos and if you permit -- -- -- to read some of this there will be caviar served but is actually from Illinois. Quail eggs from Pennsylvania. And they're -- twelve varieties of tomatoes from states including New York Idaho and California the salad inspired by Michelle Obama's garden so why is the kind of menu that -- A French president may feel very much at home with but with the distinctly American -- Well I'm from Illinois and I didn't know that we -- caviar there are doing. But and the president mention that no sign of -- Chicago dog condominiums. Yeah that's maybe a disappointment for well me personally I was going to -- here I would enjoy that but yes I think got. Joking reference to French cuisine and of course a reference to the fact that. President all along during his visit forty years ago studied American fast food but that doesn't look like we'll have any of those Vienna -- this time. And you know the first lady of course probably going over that menu -- at this hour and making the final. Tweaks and she tweeted something earlier today on a show it to you -- the first dogs -- and bow. Already picking up their seats it looks like. Yeah I think they're gonna have fun tonight and got it you let them again at the -- you know you have fun chocolate malt and Kate. From a -- with chocolate from Hawaii tangerine from Florida as well with -- -- from Pennsylvania Vermont maple syrups hoisted. Used to -- many reasons as possible and try to show those French you know we -- -- -- we like about my French was -- help find it is well this is. This is American cuisine at its absolute bias -- that money but it's actually sunny and I apologize the first the you'll forgive you and anything else -- that we can look forward to tonight -- that state dinner. YTV entertainment is always fun again Mary. Enjoyed -- more than others say this president has -- back a lot of these although they do cost we -- doesn't -- from the White House today somewhere between 20500000. Dollars. For these events -- massive events there held out there on the -- and one other note they're actually will be no dancing it's of those famous pictures you remember of state -- pass them the president's and the foreign dignitaries dancing with celebrities. It won't be happening -- no -- exact word as to why this is with the tradition has been that the country being honored to get the dictate whether there's dancing -- not -- the strong perception is that it was the French who didn't want -- make too much of anyone that president all along -- would that would be seen on the dance -- with -- -- area. -- we'll have to wait and see on that state dinner tonight Rick Klein thank you joining us from Washington. And of course you can continue to watch the press conference President Obama and French president Francois along. Taking place right now in the east room in the white house on abcnews.com. I'm Michelle Franzen in New York this has been an ABC news special report.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"id":22470979,"title":"French President Joins Obama at White House News Conference","duration":"3:00","description":"Both leaders discuss the importance of a strong relationship between the two nations.","section":"Politics","mediaType":"Default"}