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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2007, 13:59 GMT 14:59 UK
In pictures: Sarkozy sworn in as president

Jacques Chirac (left) and Nicolas Sarkozy at a handover ceremony at the Elysee Palace in Paris

Nicolas Sarkozy has been sworn in as France's new president after a handover ceremony with outgoing leader Jacques Chirac.

Nicolas Sarkozy kisses his wife Cecilia as their children applaud at the Elysee Palace

Mr Sarkozy's family watched as he was proclaimed France's 23rd president at the Elysee Palace.

Nicolas Sarkozy signs documents at the Elysee Palace

Mr Sarkozy, 52, signed handover documents, inheriting the launch codes to France's nuclear arsenal.

Nicolas Sarkozy escorts Jacques Chirac as the outgoing president leaves the Elysee Palace

Earlier, Mr Sarkozy escorted Mr Chirac as he left the Elysee Palace for the last time, after 12 years in power.

Jacques Chirac leaves the Elysee Palace

The departure of Mr Chirac, 74, was greeted by a round of applause.

Nicolas Sarkozy during his inauguration speech

In his inauguration speech, Mr Sarkozy called for unity and openness, deploring any intolerance.

Mr Sarkozy reviews the troops at the Elysee Palace

He then reviewed the Republican Guard in the gardens of the Elysee Palace.

Nicolas Sarkozy is driven to the tomb of the unknown soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe

He was later driven up the Champs Elysees in an open-top limousine to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beneath the Arc de Triomphe, before leaving for Berlin.

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