In an effort to smooth potential tension and just make things less awkward for everyone in general, French President Francois Hollande will be eating twice on the same night while hosting Vladimir Putin and Barack Obama. According to the Associated Press, the double dinner scheduled for Thursday is thought to be a diplomatic move on Hollande's part to avoid conflict between the two feuding leaders, with the side effect of turning the Frenchman into a temporary gourmand.
Sadly, unlike the plot of countless sitcoms and French farce, Hollande will not be bouncing between meals simultaneously in an attempt to court both his guests. In fact, the National Post reports that one of the dinners may not even take place inside the presidential palace, lest the chance Putin and Obama happen to cross paths on their date with 'Flanby.'
Putin and Obama are in town to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day, an event with strong enough historical import to bring together both presidents in ceremony, but not in supper.
While Putin and Hollande's sit down will be their only scheduled meeting of the week, Obama will get another chance to speak with the French president, along with other G7 leaders, at a summit on Wednesday. That meeting was originally slated for Sochi, with Putin in attendance, before Russia's annexation of Crimea nixed his invitation.
The odd dining arrangement also allows Hollande to reciprocate the special accommodations Obama made for him back in February, when dinner plans were scrapped at the last minute after news of Hollande's affair led to his then-girlfriend being left off the White House invitations. It goes to show that when it comes to politics, sometimes two's company and three is an international incident.