After France's President Emmanuel Macron won the re-election on Sunday, 24 April, defeating far-right leader Marine Le Pen, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the 44-year-old, saying, "I look forward to continue working together to deepen the India-France Strategic Partnership."
Macron is the first French president to win a second term in two decades, but Le Pen's results marked the closest a far-right leader has ever come to taking power in France.
After winning by 58.55 percent to 41.45 percent, a greater margin than expected, the centrist leader said in a tweet in French, "Each of us matters more than ourselves. This is what makes the French people this singular force that I love so deeply, so intensely, and that I am so proud to serve again."
Congratulations Pour In
Standing at the foot of the Eiffel Tower, Macron told supporters that now that the election was over, he would be a "president for all".
However, he added that "an answer must be found to the anger and disagreements that led many of our compatriots to vote for the extreme right...It will be my responsibility and that of those around me," news agency AFP reported.
Macron's victory comes at a time of the Russia-Ukraine war that has brought instability to the European Union.
Relieved not to have a far-right leader bringing in anti-EU policies, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said after the victory, "Together we will move France and Europe forward."
Meanwhile, Ukraine's Volodymyr Zelenskyy, who had called on French voters to back Macron, congratulated his "true friend" and said in a tweet, "I wish him further success for the good of the people. I appreciate his support and I am convinced that we are moving forward together towards new common victories. Towards a strong and united Europe!
PM Modi congratulated Macron in a tweet, saying, "Congratulations to my friend Emmanuel Macron on being re-elected as the President of France!"
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson also welcomed Macron's victory.
Meanwhile, despite her loss, Le Pen said her vote share still marked a victory, and the ideas that her party, the National Rally represented, had reached new heights.
However, far-left leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who was narrowly beaten by Le Pen in the first round of voting two weeks earlier, relished her loss, saying that it was good news France had refused to place its trust in Marine Le Pen, and added that Macron had been elected in a worse way than any other president.
Mélenchon stated, "He floats in an ocean of abstentions, and blank and spoiled ballots," BBC reported.
Mélenchon's statement came after polling organisations estimated that the abstention rate was nearly 28 percent, which would be the highest in any presidential election second-round run-off since 1969, as per the official figures.
(With inputs from BBC and AFP.)