François Hollande congratulates US President-elect

United States of America – American election – Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic

Paris, 9 November 2016

The American people have just spoken. They’ve elected Donald Trump President of the United States. I congratulate him, as it is natural for one democratic head of state to do to another.

My thoughts go to Hillary Clinton, with whom I worked during the Obama presidency.

This American election begins a period of uncertainty. I must face up to it with clear-sightedness and clarity.

The United States is a top-level partner for France. At stake are peace, the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East, economic relations and the protection of the planet.

On all these issues, I’ll be embarking without delay on talks with the new American administration. It will take office on 20 January. But I’ll do so with vigilance and frankness, because certain positions taken by Donald Trump during the American campaign must be measured against the values and interests we share with the United States. The friendship between our two peoples, and our shared history, will help us do this.

France will also continue transatlantic cooperation without concessions and fully independently.

This new situation triggered by the American election demands, more than ever, that France be strong and shoulder its responsibilities throughout the world, as I’ve been doing since 2012.

This situation also calls for a united Europe capable of expressing itself and conducting policy wherever its interests and values are at stake. I’m thinking of freedom, dignity, social cohesion, the fight against poverty and so on.

Finally, lessons must necessarily be learnt from any ballot. The American election goes well beyond the United States alone, and this election comes in the wake of other ballots.

We must face this situation head-on and also realize the concerns raised among all peoples – including the people of America, the world’s leading power – by the disorder in the world.

We must find answers. They’re inside us, and they must be capable of transcending fear but also respecting the principles which are our foundation: democracy and the social model.

More than ever, this election leads us to shoulder the responsibilities we must bear: those of France, with Europe being the instrument, the very framework of what we have to do; a fully independent France, and Europe with it.

Thank you./.

United States of America – American election/bilateral relations/climate – Reply by M. Jean-Marc Ayrault, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, to a question in the National Assembly

Paris, 9 November 2016

(…)

You recalled the American people’s decision: after an intense, bitter campaign which may at times have surprised us – but that’s American democracy – Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. It is, of course, a decision we respect. The French President has extended his congratulations and recalled France’s desire to remain a partner of the United States. We are the United States’ oldest ally and we intend to remain so. At any rate, that’s the message we’re sending the American people.

At the same time, it’s true that a new president is arriving having made pledges, some of which require clarification. Clearly, the American administration is going to be profoundly transformed and 4,000 people are going to change jobs: it’s the “spoils system”, it’s the American system.

The President will take office on 20 January 2017 – I’m merely reminding you of that –, which leaves us a little time. We didn’t wait for the election to contact the teams – both Hillary Clinton’s and Donald Trump’s – to try and understand what the candidates’ strategies were and, if they were elected, what their policies were.

The questions we want to ask and clarify are, in particular, the ones you mentioned: the Paris Agreement, which is a historic agreement, and Donald Trump has said he wants to renege on it; the nuclear agreement with Iran, which is a peace agreement, a multilateral agreement, and he’s said he wants to renege on it too. That won’t be without consequences. You also recalled NATO and the free trade treaties. What will the economic consequences of all this be?

So we must talk to President Trump; there are clarifications to be obtained. But France wants to remain itself, with its principles, its values, its strategy and its independence. It wants to continue its mission as a permanent member of the Security Council and an active member of the European Union./

United States of America – US election – Letter from M. François Hollande, President of the Republic, to Mr Donald Trump, President-elect of the United States of America

Paris, 9 November 2016

Dear President-elect Trump,

The American people have just spoken, electing you President of the United States.

I congratulate you on this.

I followed your first speech with close interest, particularly its message of conciliation and unity after an often brutal campaign.

The United States is a top-level partner for France. At stake are peace, the fight against terrorism, the situation in the Middle East, economic relations and the protection of the planet.

On all these issues, I would like to embark on talks with you, without delay, in light of the values and interests we share. The friendship between our two peoples, and our shared history, will help us do this.

We must face up to the common challenges awaiting us and realize the concerns raised by the disorder in the world.

We must find answers. They must enable us to transcend fear but also respect the principles which are our foundation: democracy, freedoms and respect for every individual./.

Published on 15/11/2016

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