The Bush administration on Monday welcomed the election of French President-elect Nicolas Sarkozy, a pro-American conservative, as an opportunity to strengthen relations with France.
"We certainly look forward to cooperation with the French," White House press secretary Tony Snow said Monday. "And we know that there are going to be areas of disagreement. But on the other hand, there are certainly real opportunities to work together on a broad range of issues."
Sarkozy was elected president of France Sunday with a mandate to chart a new course for an economically sluggish nation struggling to incorporate immigrants. He reached out to the United States in his victory speech, a sign of his desire to break the tension of US-French relations that took hold under the outgoing leader, Jacques Chirac, particularly over the war in Iraq.
Bush called Sarkozy over the weekend to congratulate him. Snow described it as a brief phone call, and said the two leaders would have a chance to start working together at next month's G8 summit in Germany.