The United States, a top-level partner for France [fr]
American election – Statement by M. François Hollande, President of the Republic - 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.