WASHINGTON – Nearly two years after a rift over the pending Iraq war prompted Americans to munch on "freedom fries" (search) and boycott products made by the "Axis of Weasels," Washington is embracing all things French.
Tourism officials heralded a "Paris on the Potomac" (search) campaign this week, a celebration of French music, culture and food that the District of Columbia hopes will draw both French and American tourists to the nation's capital this spring.
As for any lingering anger over the Iraq war, Washington tourism officials say it is time for rapprochement with America's longtime European ally.
"This is an opportunity for us in our own way in the travel and tourism ... and arts and culture economy to reach out to a longstanding friend, forget about politics and go back to good friendships," one tourism official told FOX News.
But not all French feel ready to kiss and make up with Americans. Diplomat Denis Pietton (search) refused to talk to FOX News at the press conference announcing "Paris on the Potomac."
Landmarks around Washington show the nation's capital owes a lot to the French. A statue of General Lafayette — a Frenchman who at 17 decided to fight for the colonists during the revolution and who became a major general in George Washington's army — sits on a square named after him that is directly across from the White House. And the entire city of Washington was designed by a French architect by the name of Pierre L'Enfant.
Click on the video box at the top of this story to watch a complete report by FOX News' Brian Wilson.