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French PM Ayrault backs Obama reelection

Reuters/Charles Platiau

French Socialist Prime Minister would like to see Barack Obama reelected president of the United States, as would the right-wing former president Nicolas Sarkozy and 72 per cent of the French population.

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In a radio interview Wednesday Ayrault said that, if he was a US citizen, he would vote Obama “without hesitation”.

But he added that he would like to see more “audacity” on some questions, notably the Middle East.

“This question has to be resolved,” he told France Inter radio. “It’s becoming insufferable for the people there. There is too much insecurity for Israel, we’ve seen that with Iran, but there is also too much suffering for the Palestinian people. So a solution must be put forward, it’s a question of great responsibility for world leaders.”

A BBC-commissioned poll showed majorities for Obama in 21 out of 22 countries, with only the Pakistanis backing Romney.

France showed the highest percentage - 72 per cent - wanting sitting US president reelected.

President François Hollande met Obama in Washington shortly after being elected in May but has made no public statement on the US election.

Sarkozy declared his support for Obama in May, despite reports that the two had a tense relationship during his presidency.

Ayrault also revealed on Wednesday that he will travel to Germany on 15 November to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The two will discuss the crisis in the European Union, which has led to differences between Merkel’s right-wing government and France’s Socialist one.

During the French presidential election campaign Merkel was among a number of right-wing European leaders who implicitly backed Sarkozy and avoided meeting Hollande while he was a candidate.

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