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Michell Obama, Bruni Sarkozy not coming to G-20 summit in Seoul

All Headlines 15:19 November 04, 2010

By Kim Hyun

SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- U.S. first lady Michelle Obama will not accompany her husband to next week's G-20 Seoul summit, which will offer a rare get-together for spouses of global leaders, the event's organizing committee said Thursday.

The White House has confirmed she will not attend the Nov. 11-12 Seoul event, said Lee Si-hyung, head officer of protocol at the G-20 presidential committee. U.S. President Barack Obama embarks on a 10-day Asia trip on Friday, which begins in India and continues to Indonesia, South Korea and Japan.

"(Obama's) overall schedule is quite long, and we asked her through diplomatic channels if she could come to just Seoul but received an answer that it would be difficult to do so," Lee told reporters.

French first lady Carla Bruni Sarkozy, a singer and former model, will also be absent because of work, Lee said.

Apart from leaders' official talks, the G-20 spouses will visit several cultural landmarks in Seoul during the two-day event. Leeum Samsung Museum of Art is one such place where the first ladies will meet and dine alongside Korean antique and western artworks, hosted by Hong Ra-hee, the museum's director general and wife of Lee Kun-hee, the former Samsung Group chairman who currently chairs Samsung Electronics Co.


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