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Obamas turn down dinner with Sarkozys

June 4, 2009 at 8:20 PM

PARIS, June 4 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama has turned down a dinner invitation from French President Nicolas Sarkozy in Paris, and French media are calling it a snub.

Obama and his wife, Michelle, plan to spend Friday night at the U.S. Embassy in Paris after a day in Germany, The Times of London reported. On Saturday, they will participate in ceremonies in Normandy marking the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

The schedule Friday includes a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Dresden and a visit to the Buchenwald Concentration Camp. The Obamas are scheduled to leave Ramstein Air Force Base at 8:30 p.m., which would make for a late dinner, at least by U.S. standards.

French newspapers and comedians have chosen to take Obama's refusal of dinner as a snub coming on top of Sarkozy's snub of Queen Elizabeth II, the only living head of state to have served in the military in World War II. In a last-minute face-saver, Prince Charles has agreed to join Obama and Sarkozy in Normandy.

"Sarkozy has pulled off a double hit: insulting Queen Elizabeth and exasperating Obama," the satirical weekly Canard Enchaine said on Wednesday.

Obama and Sarkozy are scheduled to lunch together in Caen Saturday.

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