UAE, Saudi rulers congratulate Macron on winning French presidential election

Emmanuel Macron beat Marine Le Pen with 66.06 per cent of the votes



Regional leaders from the UAE and Saudi Arabia have extended their congratulations to France’s new President Emmanuel Macron.

Macron won the French presidential election on Sunday after defeating far-right candidate Marine Le Pen with 66.06 per cent of the votes.

The country’s youngest President at 39, Macron said in his speech to the crowd on Sunday: “I know the divisions in our nation, which have led some to vote for the extremes. I respect them.

“I know the anger, the anxiety, the doubts that very many of you have also expressed. It’s my responsibility to hear them. I will work to recreate the link between Europe and its peoples, between Europe and citizens.”

He added: “Tonight you won, France won. Everyone told us it was impossible, but they don’t know France.”

A liberal-centrist Macron, the leader of the En Marche party, is a strong supporter of the European Union, causing the euro to rise after his win.

UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the country’s Prime Minister and Vice President Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum sent cables congratulating the new leader and wished for continued success and progress, reported official news agency WAM.

The leaders also underscored the UAE’s keen interest in promoting bilateral relations with France.

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud also sent a similar cable of congratulations to Macron.

Analysts believe that Macron’s win will prove beneficial for relations with the GCC. The two regions already enjoy strong ties, with countries such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE among the biggest buyers of French defence exports.

“A victory for Emmanuel Macron would be the best outcome for the Gulf states,” political analyst Manuel Almeida wrote in Arab News last month.

“His specific foreign policy views are still largely unknown, but his pragmatism and pro-European and globalisation stances would result in a constructive and responsible Middle East policy,” he said.

Meanwhile other world leaders also congratulated the new French President on his victory.

US President Donald Trump and UK Prime Minister Theresa May took to Twitter to say they looked forward to working with him.

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