By Julian Pecquet - 02/06/14 11:53 AM EST
French President Francois Hollande will be the first president from that nation in half a century not to address Congress during his state visit next week.
French officials told the magazine Le Point that a speech before both chambers could not be worked out because of “incompatible schedules.” The sources downplayed the significance of Hollande not speaking to Congress, saying such an address is “not necessarily an integral part of a state visit.”
Hollande, a socialist, has come under international scrutiny because of an affaire de coeur at home. He split with his longtime companion last week amid revelations that he was seeing a film actress and is expected to attend the state dinner with President Obama alone.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), who controls who is invited to address Congress, denied any deliberate snub.
“The Speaker values America's strong relationship with our oldest ally, but the schedule made an address impossible during this visit,” Michael Steel told Yahoo News.
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