World leaders congratulate Francois Hollande

Francois Hollande beat Nicolas Sarkozy in a tight run-off election to win the French presidency.

Paris: World leaders including US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday night congratulated Francois Hollande on his victory in the French Presidential Elections.

In a phone call made to Hollande after the results were announced, Obama said he looked forward to working closely with the French President-elect and his government on a range of shared economic and security challenges.

"President Obama noted that he will welcome President-elect Hollande to Camp David for the G8 Summit and to Chicago for the NATO Summit later this month, and proposed that they meet beforehand at the White House," Xinhua quoted the White House as saying in a statement.

Obama and Hollande each reaffirmed the important and enduring alliance between the people of the two countries, the statement said.

Merkel extended an invitation to Hollande in a phone call on Sunday night to visit Berlin as soon as he formally takes office in mid May, said Steffen Seibert, spokesman at the German Chancellor`s office.

German President Joachim Gauck also wished Hollande "good luck" for his five-year term for the service of France and Europe, a presidential spokesman said.

Cameron and Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo also extended their congratulations to Hollande, while vowing to work for a close partnership in the future.

Calling Hollande`s election a "historic event", German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said both sides should keep on cooperating closely in implementing the European Union`s policies and coping with the common challenge.