Sarkozy to Obama: we’ll win, you and me

French President Nicolas Sarkozy took a break from his re-election campaign Thursday to take a friendly videophone call from US President Barack Obama – in the presence of reporters.

Sarkozy to Obama: we'll win, you and me
William Lawrence

Before beginning talks on fuel prices and the crises in Iran, Syria and Afghanistan, Obama complimented Sarkozy on his campaign ahead of the French election, which will take place over two rounds on April 22 and May 6.

Sarkozy thanked him for the call and for the friendship he said the US leader has shown France, and slipped into English to express support for Obama’s own re-election bid in November, saying: “We will win, you and me.”

The head-to-head continued after the reporters left the room.

The French leader has stressed his credentials as a global statesman during the campaign, in which he faces a strong challenge from a popular but internationally inexperienced Socialist candidate, Francois Hollande.

Fellow right-wingers German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron have wished him well, and Obama, from the US centre-left Democratic Party, shared a rare joint television interview in November.

Sarkozy has also publicly said that he hopes Obama will be re-elected.

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Barack Obama to meet Macron for ‘private’ lunch during weekend in Paris

Former US president Barack Obama will be in Paris this weekend where he will be treated to a lunch with President Emmanuel Macron. The event will be low key so as not to cheese off Donald Trump.

Barack Obama to meet Macron for 'private' lunch during weekend in Paris
Obama had backed Macron for president. AFP
The lunch at Macron's Elysee Palace residence — in a “private” capacity, the presidency said Thursday — will come as Obama visits Paris to speak to Les Napoleons, a network of communications professionals.
Obama, who publicly endorsed Macron during his election campaign, will arrive in Paris on Friday where he is due to make an appearance at the bi-annual “Napoleons” summit as the special guest.
He will give a speech at the Radio France auditorium. 
Macron has invited him for lunch on Saturday although the venue remains a secret. The lunch meeting has not been announced officially as the Elysée Palace are apparently concerned about irritating current US president Donald Trump, who they fear may take offence.
It is unlikely Obama will be given the same treatment Trump was given during his summer visit to Paris, when he and his wife Melania were wined and dined at the Jules Verne restaurant on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower.
Trump however has not been invited to the December 12 climate summit in Paris, unlike 100 other leaders, and Macron has also said he wants to save the Iranian nuclear deal despite Trump's opposition.
Last time Obama was in Paris in December 2015 he dined with then French president François Hollande at L'Ambroisie, a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the swanky Place des Vosges square.
Hollande treats Obama to three-star French cuisine
He had apparently asked Hollande if they could eat out rather than at the Elysée Palace.
Obama is also due to meet Hollande during his latest trip to Paris but not his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy.