Paris: French President Francois Hollande on Monday hailed former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher as a "great figure who left a profound mark on the history of her country."
"Throughout her public life, with conservative beliefs she fully assumed, she was concerned with the United Kingdom`s influence and the defence of its interests," Hollande said.
"She maintained a relationship with France that was frank and honest," Hollande said, adding that Thatcher and former French president Francois Mitterrand had shared a "constructive and fruitful dialogue".
"Together they worked to strengthen the ties between our two countries. And it was at this time that Mrs Thatcher gave the decisive impetus to the construction of the cross-Channel tunnel," Hollande said.
The president also offered his "very strong and very sincere condolences" to Thatcher`s family and loved ones.