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Last Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
World reacts to Sarkozy's win
World leaders have congratulated France's president-elect, Nicolas Sarkozy, on his victory in Sunday's vote. Many hope he will help end deadlock over the EU constitution and boost international efforts on climate change, while the United States is hoping for improved relations. But not everyone was pleased with the result.


Nicolas Sarkozy
Mr Sarkozy has pledged to reform a deadlocked European Union

Mr Sarkozy, seen as a strong ally of Washington, is often described as "Sarko the American" by opponents in France, who criticise his open admiration for American values.

Despite opposing the war in Iraq, Mr Sarkozy has pledged to repair relations between the two nations that were damaged after President Jacques Chirac defied the US over the war. In his victory speech Mr Sarkozy said the US could "count on our friendship".

US President George W Bush called Mr Sarkozy after his victory to congratulate him.

"The United States and France are historic allies and partners. President Bush looks forward to working with President-elect Sarkozy as we continue our strong alliance," US National Security Council spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.


German Chancellor Angela Merkel congratulated Mr Sarkozy on his "convincing election victory," spokesman Thomas Steg said.

Ms Merkel, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency and is France's traditional partner in the union, also acknowledged Mr Sarkozy's plans to shake up EU processes after French and Dutch voters rejected the proposed constitution in 2005.

"In what is one of the crucial phases for Europe, it is important to continue the close, trusting and intensive co-operation between Germany and France," Mr Steg said.


Diplomats in Brussels favoured Mr Sarkozy's calls for domestic economic reform and his proposal for an EU "mini-treaty" instead of a full constitution to streamline decision making in the 27-nation body.

"I know Nicolas Sarkozy well, and I know his determination to ensure France takes its full place on the European scene," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said.

"I have every confidence that Nicolas Sarkozy, whose convictions I know and whose strong beliefs are known to all, will play a driving role in resolving the institutional question and in consolidating a political Europe," he said.

But he called on Mr Sarkozy not to block talks on Turkey's entry into the union, which Mr Sarkozy has vowed to oppose.


In Turkey, newspapers reacted with dismay to Mr Sarkozy's victory.

"Alas! It is Sarko," Aksam daily said on its front page.

Milliyet newspaper outlined the fears of many Turks with the headline: "Sarkozy the new obstacle on the path towards EU", saying that the victory would "increase the potential of already chilly Turkish-French ties to worsen".

Mr Sarkozy has said Turkey's entry to the EU would mean the "death of political Europe".

Instead he called for a new "Mediterranean Union" stretching from Turkey to Morocco.


Tunisia welcomed Mr Sarkozy's victory, offering an enthusiastic endorsement for his planned Mediterranean Union.

President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali said the win would help strengthen dialogue between both sides of the Mediterranean in the hope of building a strategic and united partnership.


Iraqi President Jalal Talabani said he was confident strong links between Iraq and France would remain.

"Our friendship makes me comfortable that you will lead France toward boosting political, economic and cultural relations with Iraq," Mr Talabani said in a statement.

"And I'm convinced that your help for the Iraqi people in their struggle against terrorism will be increased."


During his victory speech Mr Sarkozy called warring parties in the Middle East to "overcome hate".

Israeli Vice-Prime Minister Shimon Peres welcomed this appeal, while Prime Minister Ehud Olmert expressed hope that French-Israeli relations would improve.

"I am sure that co-operation between us will be fruitful, and together we can push forward diplomacy and peace in our region," Mr Olmert said.

Mr Sarkozy says he favours the creation of a Palestinian state but has reproached the Palestinian Authority for not preventing violence against Israel.


Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas "congratulated Mr Sarkozy on his election to the presidency and expressed to him his hope that France will continue its support for the Palestinian people and their rights," a spokesman told AFP.

He also said he hoped the president-elect would lift "the siege" - a Palestinian reference to the EU freeze on funds for the Palestinian Authority after the Hamas victory in elections last year.

"We hope that this change will lead to co-operation with the national unity government and that Sarkozy will contribute to lifting the siege against the Palestinian people and support their legitimate rights."


Mr Sarkozy's victory was welcomed in the former French colony by the Islamic Hezbollah party and the son of the assassinated former leader Rafik Hariri.

A Hezbollah statement expressed hope that France's new president's decisions "are more appropriate with French national interests, and consequently less biased toward one party against the other.

"We hope that the French president will have the vision for a more influential role through being more balanced," a statement said.

Parliamentary leader Saad Hariri said he hoped bonds between the two countries would remain strong.

"This is the hope of all the Lebanese who remember France and the French for their permanent stand toward their causes, and this I pledge to continue to work to achieve it in my political and parliamentary position in Lebanon," he said.


Syrian President Bashar Assad sent congratulations to Mr Sarkozy on news of his win - despite the former French colony being at odds with France over its policy towards neighbouring Lebanon.

"We send the congratulations and best wishes of happiness and good health and hope the relations between Syria and France to witness development in service of the two countries and peoples' interests," a cable from the president read.


Afghan leader Hamid Karzai welcomed Mr Sarkozy's victory.

"I hope the historic and friendly relations between Afghanistan and France will further strengthen under Sarkozy's leadership... the Afghan people appreciate the assistance of the people and government of France," he said in a statement.


The Russian press declared Mr Sarkozy's victory would herald great change in France.

"No-one today can say for sure what sort of president Sarkozy will be... But what should be understood, first and foremost, is that this immigrant's son, who has fought his whole life for the right to be president of all the people of France, and has secured this right, is capable of a great deal," the newspaper Vremya Novostey said.

"The French voted against the Socialists but for socialism. For socialism with a human face - with the face of a human being who is prepared to work and earn money, fulfilling his duty to his country rather than to suffering idlers," the Vedemosti newspaper said.

"It's clear that in the Sarkozy era France's foreign policy will change forever," declared Kommersant.


The Democratic Republic of Congo's press also saw Mr Sarkozy's victory ushering in a new age for France, though there were notes of caution.

"A new France, another France... there is no doubt that Nicolas Sarkozy's accession will open a new era not only for France but also for its relations with the rest of the world," the newspaper Le Potential said.

The paper L'Avenir said: "The French presidential elections would have been a good lesson in democracy for Africans."

But there was a muted response from L'Observateur: "He has not forgotten Africa... Sarkozy seemed to say: Africans, the ball is in your court. Think of the best way we can make our relations beneficial... unless there is a miracle, Africans have to expect the status quo in the relations with Paris."

Reaction to the results after a tight election

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