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President Obama and Vladimir Putin / Evan Vucci, AP

A ceremony to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day will bring world leaders together June 6 on the beaches of Normandy, France -- including two of the globe's biggest current rivals, Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin.

Obama aides brushed aside any concerns about appearing on the same stage as Putin, saying that the U.S. president will not have meetings with any other world leaders while in Normandy.

"This is primarily an opportunity for the president and leaders from around the globe to pay tribute to the heroism of Allied forces that led to victory in World War II," White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

Obama will deliver remarks at the D-Day ceremony, "and that will be what he's focused on," Earnest said.

While Obama and Putin are at loggerheads over the Russian incursion into Ukraine, the United States and Russia were allies in the war against Hitler's Germany more than seven decades ago.

The D-Day event "has nothing to do with President Putin," Earnest said. "It has everything to do with a generation of Americans and allies who liberated a continent and did so at great risk to themselves."



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Obama, Putin to attend D-Day ceremony

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