Plans for a formal dinner in Paris between French President François Hollande and President Hassan Rouhani of Iran during Rouhani’s visit to Europe this weekend have been cancelled over a disagreement between the two countries over whether wine should be served with dinner.
The Iranians, who requested that wine not be served with dinner, and for the meal to feature halal meat, effectively made “a request based on Islamic codes that amounted to culinary sacrilege in France, a nation that puts the secular ideals of the Republic above all else,” in the words of the Washington Post.
In response, the French reportedly countered with a breakfast meeting instead, which was then rejected for appearing cheap. Instead, Hollande and Rouhani will now meet for a “face-to-face chat” later in the week, the snack situation of which is unclear. The two leaders are expected to discuss the European monitoring of Iran’s nuclear program.
Over the weekend, Rouhani is also expected to meet with Italian prime minster Matteo Renzi, Pope Francis, and prominent industry leaders in Rome.