The election of Nicolas Sarkozy as France's new president was well received in Jerusalem on Sunday night, with several MKs calling the Conservative politician "a friend of Israel," Army Radio reported Monday. Vice Premier Shimon Peres welcomed Sarkozy's friendship and added that the new president's victory speech declaration that a European Union-like treaty would be formed in the Middle East was a "very interesting" suggestion.
Sarkozy wins presidential elections
Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu, too, hailed Sarkozy's victory, calling it good news for Israeli-French relations.
Netanyahu asserted that "Sarkozy is a friend of Israel and a personal friend of mine. He wants to help Israel achieve true peace, and he understands our security needs well."
Fellow Likud MK Gideon Sa'ar also highlighted Sarkozy's friendship with Israel, and said that his election was good news for all those who supported freedom in the world.
The reform-minded Sarkozy was assured victory in Sunday's elections after preliminary results showed him leading with 53 percent to Socialist Segolene Royal's 46%.
"The people of France have chosen change," Sarkozy said in his victory speech. The charismatic but divisive figure pledged to be "president of all the French."
Sarkozy will take office in another nine days.
AP contributed to this report.