Letter of congratulations from President Nicolas Sarkozy to President-elect Barack Obama.
Paris, November 5, 2008
[Handwritten:] Dear Barack,
The American people have just chosen you to preside over their destiny for the next four years.
Please accept my warmest congratulations, both personally and on behalf of the French people as a whole. Your stunning victory rewards a tireless commitment to serving the American people. It is also the crowning achievement of an exceptional campaign whose brilliance and high tone demonstrated the vitality of American democracy to the entire world, while keeping them spellbound.
In choosing you, the American people have chosen the path of change, openness and optimism. At a time when the world is in torment and doubt, the American people—true to the values that have always been at the very core of America’s identity—strongly expressed their faith in progress and in the future.
This message from the American people resonates well beyond your borders. At a time when we must face enormous challenges together, your election raises immense hope in France, Europe and beyond: the hope of an open America, characterized by solidarity and strength, that will once again lead the way, with its partners, through the power of its example and the adherence to its principles.
France and Europe, which have always been bound to the United States through their ties of history, values and friendship, will thus be reenergized to work with America to preserve peace and prosperity in the world. Rest assured that you may count on France and on my personal support.
Please accept, Mr. President-elect, the expression of my highest regards.
[Handwritten:] and my warmest wishes.
Mr. Barack H. Obama
President-elect of the United States of America
Communiqué from the minister of Foreign and European Affairs Mr Bernard Kouchner (November 5, 2008)
I would like to send my warmest and most cordial congratulations to Senator Barack Obama on his election to the Presidency of the United States of America and wish him the greatest possible success in his future endeavors as leader of his country.
American democracy has just lived through a marvelous moment, one of those major turning points that periodically demonstrate its vitality, its belief in the future and its trust in the values on which it was founded over two centuries ago.
The French, like the entire world, have followed the election campaign in the United States with passionate interest, and I know how much they welcome the election of a man committed to dialogue between peoples and communities, and cooperation among Nations.
I wish to pay tribute to the spirit of commitment, generosity and tolerance that guides Barack Obama. I wish to salute the values of respect and solidarity that form the foundation of his political vision for the future in what is a crucial period for the United States. Solidarity between generations, solidarity between rich and poor, and solidarity with the most vulnerable members of American society. Barack Obama knows that withdrawal from others and the excesses of laissez-faire lead inevitably to isolation and conflict.
France, Europe and the international community need his energy, his rejection of injustice and his determination to go forward to build a safer, fairer and more stable world.
France and the European Union will stand ready to work closely with Barack Obama and with his administration within the framework of a renewed transatlantic partnership. Together, we must seize this historic opportunity to combine our efforts to meet the economic, climate and security challenges that also face us all. Together, we can shoulder our responsibilities more effectively and find the necessary solutions. That is the meaning of the work conducted by the French Presidency of the European Union during the informal meetings of foreign ministers held in Avignon and Marseille.
Confident as I am of Barack Obama’s qualities of dialogue and attentiveness to others, which I had the opportunity to witness during his visit to France, it will give me great pleasure to work with him and his team to strengthen the alliance, already two centuries old, between France and the United States, working for a world that is more fraternal, more open and more just.