Sarkozy to Bring Fresh Ideas to Foreign Policy In his victory speech Sunday evening, newly elected French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he wanted to reach out to "his American friends." Analysts say relations between the U.S. and France could improve with the election of the pro-American Sarkozy.

Sarkozy to Bring Fresh Ideas to Foreign Policy

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This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.


As Eleanor Beardsley reports from Paris, Sarkozy is also expected to bring a different perspective to French foreign policy, and perhaps an improvement in the French American relations.


ELEANOR BEARDSLEY: In front of thousands of energized supporters last night, President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy gave an impassioned 10-minute preview of his precedents.

NICOLAS SARKOZY: (French spoken)

BEARDSLEY: Sarkozy said he has a mandate for change, but in a conciliatory tone he reached out to the people who didn't vote for him. He reached out to the world's oppressed saying they could count on France and he reached out to his European partners saying France would help Europe solve its constitutional crisis, and then Sarkozy reached out to America.

SARKOZY: (Through translator) I want to reach out to our American friends. I want to tell them that France will always be on their side when they need her, but I want to say, too, that friendship also means that people can think differently.

BEARDSLEY: Twenty-six-old Sarkozy supporter, Nicolai Uanidas(ph) says he was pleased the new president wants to repair relations with America.

NICOLAI UANIDAS: I think, he obviously want to turn the Iraqi page. He wants to show that we will be side by side with the U.S. and we have to remember who are our friends, who are not our friends. Obviously, the U.S. have saved us in the Second World War. We can't forget this, you know. Friends are here to support each other, but also to say when the other one is making a mistake.

BEARDSLEY: Still - says international relations expert Dominique Moisi - Sarkozy is not likely to shake up French diplomacy.

DOMINIQUE MOISI: His priority is domestic politics, internal changes within France. And he will not risk losing the support of the majority of French people by too radical shift in foreign policy. So yes, there is going to be a change of style vis-à-vis the United States of America, but probably not a change of content.

BEARDSLEY: In his speech, Sarkozy said a great nation like the United States should lead the struggle against global warming rather than obstruct it. He said the fight against climate change will be France's top priority. That fits right in with his strategy says Moisi.

MOISI: It's logical for Nicolas Sarkozy to appeal to the environmentalists to show that he is a modern president, deeply aware of the ecological dimension of international relations. And he wanted to show, at the same time, that yes, he was going to be more friendly with the United States, but no less difficult.

BEARDSLEY: For NPR News, I'm Eleanor Beardsley in Paris.

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