French President Nicolas Sarkozy wrote a letter Wednesday to US President Barack Obama in which he expressed his “very great joy” at learning of Obama’s receiving the Nobel Peace Prize.

In awarding Obama what he called “its most prestigious prize,” the Nobel Prize Committee rewarded the American president for his “vision in favour of tolerance and dialogue between states, cultures and civilizations,” Sarkozy wrote in the letter.

“It recognizes... the return of America to the hearts of the peoples of the world,” the French president said, in an allusion to the divisiveness of Obama’s predecessor, George W Bush.

The prize, Sarkozy wrote, will reinforce Obama’s determination “to act for justice, for peace and to preserve the great balance of our planet.” The French president added that he was “convinced that everyone, throughout the world, will draw from this a greater willingness to cooperate with you and with America to achieve these common objectives.”

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