Obama congratulates new French president

President Obama on Sunday congratulated President-elect François Hollande shortly after he was elected France’s new leader.

Obama also plans on welcoming Hollande during both the Group of 8 summit and NATO summit in Chicago later in May, according to the White House. 

ADVERTISEMENT
In a phone conversation, Obama suggested that he and Hollande meet in person ahead of the summits. 

Hollande, a member of France's Socialist Party, was elected with roughly 51 percent of the vote on Sunday.

He is the first Socialist president since 1995. Hollande succeeds President Nicolas Sarkozy, a member of the center-right Union for a Popular Movement party. Sarkozy reportedly had about 49 percent of the vote. 

Hollande’s election could signal new diplomatic challenges for the Obama administration. He has pledged to accelerate the withdrawal of French troops from the NATO mission in Afghanistan and has called for European leaders to relax austerity measures implemented to deal with the continent’s debt crisis.