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Last Updated: Monday, 7 May 2007, 19:47 GMT 20:47 UK
Blair praises Sarkozy on Youtube
Tony Blair
Mr Blair recorded the video at 10 Downing Street
Tony Blair has taken a giant leap into cyberspace - by using the Youtube website to congratulate France's new leader Nicolas Sarkozy on his poll win.

Mr Blair shows off his language skills by recording the message in French.

Part of the clip has been broadcast on a TV news channel in France, with the presenter saying the UK prime minister's French was "not bad".

Mr Blair has long been seen as a technophobe, being described by former colleagues as "a pen and paper person".

New Labour's former media chief, Alistair Campbell, last year said of Mr Blair: "He tries - he's got a computer screen on his desk... it's pretty idle."

Co-operation pledge

The prime minister's message to Mr Sarkozy, who will succeed Jacque Chirac as French president, appears on Downing Street's very own Youtube "channel".

He says: "I wish to convey my heartfelt congratulations to Nicolas Sarkozy on his victory.

"Nicolas is somebody with whom I have had occasion to work many times, whom I admire and whom I regard as a friend."

Mr Blair said Britain would be "pleased to co-operate" with president-elect Mr Sarkozy.

"Of course, he faces a huge task, but I know that he has the necessary energy and loftiness to face up to it successfully."

Mr Blair, who speaks French fluently, also praised the French people for the high turnout in the elections and the quality of debate during the campaign.

He is thought to be the first world leader to have his own channel on Youtube.

So far, the French version of the message has racked up almost 2,000 views, while the English alternative is lagging behind with about 350 hits.

Tony Blair congratulates Nicolas Sarkozy on YouTube

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