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French president congratulates Cameron, notes EU ‘partnership’


302px-François_Hollande_(Journées_de_Nantes_2012)French President Francois Hollande congratulated Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron on his election victory Friday and invited the leader to Paris, his office said.

“The president noted the value he places on the deep friendship between France and the United Kingdom and in reinforcing their partnership in all areas, particularly within the European Union,” the Elysee Palace said in a statement.

It did not explicitly refer to the referendum on whether Britain will stay in the 28-nation bloc which Cameron has promised to hold by 2017. France is one of the founder-members and stalwarts of the EU.

Cameron’s Conservative party won victory Friday in Britain’s general elections despite widespread predictions of a close contest with the opposition Labour party.

In Brussels, the EU said it was ready for talks with Cameron on the reforms of the bloc which he has demanded, but stressed that issues such as freedom on movement within Europe were “non-negotiable”.

EU President Donald Tusk said he stands “ready to help” in Britain’s future talks with the EU.

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