PARIS (Reuters) - Europe must not flinch in defending its interests and people now that Donald Trump's election win has added to the uncertainty
created by Britain's decision to exit the European Union, France's foreign minister said on Wednesday.
France is a key American ally, and its officials had in recent weeks openly endorsed Hillary Clinton for U.S. president and warned that Trump's "confused" foreign policy objectives were alarming for the rest of the world.
"We have to meet the challenge for a Europe that must be able to better defend its citizens and its interests," Ayrault told France 2 television.
"Europe cannot blink after Brexit, after the election of Donald Trump with all the questions being raised, Europe must stand together more, be more active and go more on the offensive even if it is just to protect itself."
President Francois Hollande, who has yet to announce whether he will run for a second term in next year's French presidential election, said Paris wanted to immediately begin talks with Trump to clarify his stance on key international affairs.
"This American election opens a period of uncertainty," the Socialist president told reporters. "In the context we need a strong France and a united Europe capable of expressing and carrying out its policy everywhere where its values and interests are put into question."
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