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Obama invites Francois Hollande to White House

world Updated: May 07, 2012 10:29 IST

AFP
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President Barack Obama invited French president-elect Francois Hollande to the White House later this month, expressing hope the pair would work "closely," a spokesman said on Sunday.

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.

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 on Sunday 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.