World leaders have rushed to congratulate French President Emmanuel Macron on his election victory over his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen.
Many in Europe described the outcome of Sunday’s vote as a win for the European Union as a victory for Le Pen, a deeply eurosceptic politician, could have had huge implications for the stability of the bloc.
For his part, Russian President Vladimir Putin sent Macron a message of congratulations, Russian news agencies quoted the Kremlin as saying on Monday.
“I sincerely wish you success in governance, firm health and well-being,” Putin said in a telegram, which the Kremlin posted on its official website on Monday.
Similarly, China’s President Xi Jinping congratulated his French counterpart, saying he would “like to continue working with President Macron to maintain diplomatic relations based on independence, mutual understanding, foresight and mutual benefit,” according to a readout from state broadcaster CCTV.
The Chinese leader added he has always viewed Chinese-French ties from a “strategic and long-term perspective”, saying the healthy and stable development of relations is increasingly important as the global arena undergoes “complex changes”.
European Council President Charles Michel, as well as the prime ministers of Belgium and Luxembourg, were among the first to congratulate Macron, followed by almost all of the bloc’s 27 leaders, after his win over Marine Le Pen by a comfortable margin.
“Bravo Emmanuel”, Michel wrote on Twitter in French.
“In this turbulent period, we need a solid Europe and a France totally committed to a more sovereign and more strategic European Union.”
Though polls had predicted Macron winning Sunday’s second round of the French presidential election, the experience of the United Kingdom’s surprise vote to leave the EU and the election of Donald Trump in the United States in 2016 had some concerned about the possibility of an election upset.