Who is French President-elect Emmanuel Macron?

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Also commenting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel said: "Congratulations to Emmanuel Macron on his big win today as the next President of France".

Hollande smiled and clasped the arms of his one-time economy minister as the two men attended a ceremony at Paris's Arc de Triomphe to commemorate victory over the Nazis in World War II.

Macron becomes not only France's youngest-ever president but also one of its most unlikely.

Trump declined to explicitly endorse a candidate in the French election, as USA presidents typically refrain from doing so, but said in an April interview with the Associated Press that far-right candidate Marine Le Pen was "the strongest on borders".

Russian president Vladimir Putin congratulated Emmanuel Macron on his victory in the French presidential election and wished him "strong health" in his tasks ahead, the Kremlin said Monday morning. Le Pen has already called to congratulate Macron and conceded defeat to a gathering of her supporters in Paris.

Sylvie Goulard, a French deputy to the European Parliament, said Macron would make Berlin his first official visit, with perhaps a stop to see French troops stationed overseas as well. "Everyone told us it was impossible, but they don't know France".

Macron and his future government should also place respect for human rights at the center of France's bilateral relations, particularly those with countries that openly turn their backs on rights, such as China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey. His opponent, the far-right, anti-immigrant populist Marine Le Pen, wanted to remove France from the 27-state bloc.

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It was the first time Hollande and Macron appeared together in public since August 2016. Many voters backed him reluctantly, simply to keep out Le Pen's extremism.

"If all goes well, positive global and European economic tailwinds could help reap the benefits of reforms quickly, dissipating French voters' anxiety about the euro and globalization within the next five years", said Marion Amiot, senior economist at Oxford Economics.

France's new president will be confronted with huge human rights challenges as soon as he takes office, and responding to them should be a priority, Human Rights Watch said. Mr. Macron has promised that half of those candidates will be new to elected politics, as he was before his victory on Sunday.

As of midnight, with 88% of the votes counted, results showed that Macron won 18.6 million votes (64.6%), vs. 10.2 million votes (35.4%) for Le Pen.

Macron, a pro-European centrist and former banker, takes over a divided country where almost half of voters backed extremist candidates - critical of the European Union, globalisation and "elites" - in the first round of the election. Both the Socialists and the right-wing party will try to recover their lost ground in the upcoming legislative elections.

World stocks, as measured by MSCI's 46-country world index hit a record high and the main measure of Asia-Pacific shares excluding Japan rose 0.8 percent.

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