May 8, 2017 7:45:30 pm
Pro-EU centrist Emmanuel Macron stormed to victory in the French presidential election, roundly defeating his far-right rival Marine Le Pen in a run-off vote. Here is a selection of comments from world leaders and other political heavyweights on Macron’s election victory. “Congratulations, @EmmanuelMacron. Your victory is a victory for a strong and united Europe and for French-German friendship,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman.
Russian President Vladimir Putin urged Macron to bridge deep rifts between Moscow and Paris and work together to fight the threat of terror. “The citizens of France entrusted you to lead the country in a difficult period for Europe and for the entire world community. The growing threat of terrorism and violent extremism is accompanied by an escalation of local conflicts and the destabilisation of entire regions,” Putin said in a congratulatory telegram released by the Kremlin.
“In these conditions it is especially important to overcome mutual distrust and join forces to ensure international stability and security.”
“The (British) Prime Minister warmly congratulates President-elect Macron on his election success. France is one of our closest allies and we look forward to working with the new President on a wide range of shared priorities,” said a Downing Street spokesman in London.
Prime Minister Theresa May also discussed Brexit with Macron, saying “the UK wants a strong partnership with a secure and prosperous EU once we leave,” the spokesman added.
“Happy that the French chose a European future,” European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker wrote on Twitter.
EU Council President Donald Tusk also offered his congratulations, saying the French had chosen “liberty, equality and fraternity” and “said no to the tyranny of fake news”.
European Parliament President Antonio Tajani told AFP: “We have received a vote of confidence from France in the European Union.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping congratulated Macron, saying the two countries share a “responsibility toward peace and development in the world.”
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said “the victory of President-elect Macron is a symbolic victory against inward-looking and protectionist moves and shows a vote of confidence in the EU”.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi offered congratulations, voicing hope that relations “expand in the new era after this election based on groundwork laid during recent years”.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he wanted to work together with Macron on a “progressive agenda” to “promote international security, increase collaboration in science and technology, and create good, middle-class jobs on both sides of the Atlantic”.
Greece Prime Minister Alexis Tspiras said Macron’s victory was “an inspiration for France and for Europe”, adding he was “sure we will work closely together.”
“Congratulations to @EmmanuelMacron, new president of #France. Let us work in France and Spain for a stable, prosperous and more integrated Europe,” Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said in a tweet.
“This is a victory for the French people and for European cooperation. New opportunities will now open up for the proactive agenda needed to strengthen the EU, including more jobs and fair working conditions, a stronger climate policy and a functioning asylum system in which everyone takes responsibility,” said Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven.
“I congratulate @EmmanuelMacron on his victory in the French presidential election. Brazil and France will continue to work together for democracy, human rights, development, integration and peace,” tweeted Brazil President Michel Temer.
Defeated US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, who like Macron had her campaign hacked, tweeted: “Victory for Macron, for France, the EU, & the world. Defeat to those interfering w/democracy. (But the media says I can’t talk about that).”
Nigel Farage, former leader of British anti-EU party UKIP, who backed Le Pen, said on Twitter: “A giant deceit has been voted for today. Macron will be Juncker’s puppet.”
In The Netherlands, Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders commiserated with Le Pen, saying in a tweet: “Well done anyway @MLP_officiel millions of patriots voted for you! You will win next time — and so will I!”
In Austria, Heinz-Christian Strache, head of the far-right Freedom Party, said Le Pen deserves “respect… She is from now on the strongest opposition force against Macron.”
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