Sarkozy and Obama have "warm" phone conversation
French President Nicolas Sarkozy and his new American counterpart, Barack Obama, held what was described as a "warm" telephone discussion on Monday, Sarkozy's office said.
The conversation, which was held on Obama's initiative, consisted of "substantial exchanges" on a number of vital international topics, the Elysee Palace said in a statement to the press.
They included the global economic crisis, the crisis in the Middle East, Afghanistan and the upcoming NATO summit in Strasbourg, scheduled for early April, dpa reported.
Obama told Sarkozy that his special envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell, is to make a stop in Paris on his way to the region.
For his part, Sarkozy "saluted the courageous measures taken by Obama" after he took office, especially his announced intention to close the Guantanamo prison camp.
"These measures corresponded with the high expectations in Europe, and France is ready to help the United States to implement them," the statement read.
However, officials in Brussels said Monday that the European Union will need "weeks or months" before it can sort out the legal tangles involved in accepting some of the inmates due to be released from Guantanamo.