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World Leaders React To French Election

Nicolas Sarkozy (file photo) (epa) May 7, 2007 -- World leaders have reacted to the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as president of France.

The conservative Sarkozy beat Socialist Segolene Royal in a May 6 runoff, winning about 53 percent of the vote. Turnout was some 84 percent -- the highest since 1981.

"I have just called the future French president," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today. "I have congratulated him. This is a great victory, and we agreed that we will continue and intensify the French-German cooperation. I have wished Nicolas Sarkozy all the best and success for his new task, and I believe we will have great cooperation with him."

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said he has complete confidence in Sarkozy to play a driving role in consolidating European politics.

U.S. President George W. Bush said he looked forward to working with him.

Boris Gryzlov, speaker of Russia's State Duma, said Sarkozy's election is reason for Russian-French relations to develop further.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai said he hoped the "historic and friendly" relations between Afghanistan and France will further strengthen under Sarkozy's leadership.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he hopes Sarkozy will soften his opposition to Turkey becoming a member of the EU.

(compiled from agency reports)