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Obama, Sarkozy honor alliance, troops

U.S. President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy Friday paid tribute to the U.S.-French alliance and the countries' forces. UPI/Aaron Showalter/Pool | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/1e5bcb2498fbee84aae2447c1aaf1cad/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
U.S. President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy Friday paid tribute to the U.S.-French alliance and the countries' forces. UPI/Aaron Showalter/Pool | License Photo

CANNES, France, Nov. 4 (UPI) -- U.S. President Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy Friday paid tribute to the U.S.-French alliance and the countries' forces.

Under gray, drizzly skies, the two leaders walked side by side past the troops, then stood solemnly as U.S. and French military personnel laid a wreath during a ceremony at Cannes City Hall after the Group of 20 summit ended.

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"We are societies where our diversity is considered a strength; where you can become president even if your name is Obama or Sarkozy," Obama said. "We live by a common creed: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness -- liberte, egalite, fraternite."

Tribute must be paid to forces who served and died so that Afghanistan will never again become a haven for terrorists, Obama said.

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"They have sacrificed to keep us all safe, and we honor them all," he said.

The same solidarity also was evidenced during the mission to protect the Libyan people, Obama said.

"When the old regime threatened to massacre on a horrific scale, the world refused to stand by," the U.S. president said. "The United States was proud to play a decisive role, especially in the early days, taking out Libyan air defenses and conducting precision strikes that stopped the regime in its tracks."

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The United States and its allies are moving ahead with confidence and with strength, Obama said.

"[For] more than two centuries we have stood together in friendship, and because of our unwavering commitment to the cause of liberty, I'm confident that we'll continue to stand together, strong and free, for all the centuries to come," Obama said "So vive la France. God bless America. And long live the alliance between our two great nations."

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