WORLD


Obama invites Hollande to White House

Baku, May 7 (AzerTAc). European leaders have welcomed the victory of Francois Hollande and US President Barack Obama has invited the French president-elect to the White House later this month.
In a telephone call to congratulate Hollande on his election victory, Obama 'indicated that he looks forward to working closely with Mr Hollande and his government on a range of shared economic and security challenges', White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement on Sunday.
Obama and Hollande 'each reaffirmed the important and enduring alliance between the people of the United States and France', the statement read.
The US president is due to host the leaders of the Group of Eight rich nation`s club at his Camp David retreat in Maryland between May 18-19, followed by the NATO transatlantic alliance summit in Chicago on May 20-21.
In his call to Hollande, Obama 'proposed that they meet beforehand at the White House' for a bilateral meeting, Carney said.
Hollande was elected France`s first Socialist president in nearly two decades, dealing a humiliating defeat to incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy and shaking up European politics.
The result will have major implications for Europe as it struggles to emerge from a financial crisis and for France, the eurozone`s second-largest economy and a nuclear-armed permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Germany pledged that it would keep up its co-operation with France in driving European Union policies. Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle stressed both countries would still work together to help the EU respond to the debt crisis, which he called 'a joint objective'.
Chancellor Angela Merkel - a conservative leader who worked closely with outgoing French President Nicolas Sarkozy - also called Hollande to congratulate and invite him to visit the neighbouring country as soon as possible, government spokesman Steffen Seibert said.
One of Hollande`s top campaign aides has hinted that he would make his first trip abroad to Germany after his inauguration ceremony.
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso also congratulated Hollande, saying 'I know that I can count on the convictions and the personal commitment of Francois Hollande to advance European integration'.
British Prime Minister David Cameron congratulated Hollande by telephone, vowing to work with the Socialist leader to strengthen the Franco-British relationship.
Britain`s centre-right media has expressed concern over a Hollande victory after he declared war on the finance industry, which generates huge revenues for Britain.
Hollande called for greater financial markets regulation during a visit to woo French voters in London in February.
 

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