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Hollande, Sarkozy attend WWII commemoration ceremony

Nicolas Sarkozy (right) and Francois Hollande attended the ceremony at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris (© 2009 AFP)

President-elect Francois Hollande and ousted rival Nicolas Sarkozy laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Paris Tuesday as France marked the anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe.

In his first official function since defeating Sarkozy on Sunday, Hollande took part in ceremonies to mark the anniversary at the Arc de Triomphe along with the outgoing Sarkozy.

The two stood side-by-side as a military band played the Marseillaise and the Chant des Partisans, the anthem of the French Resistance, before both shook hands with veterans.

“There are issues that unite us all, beyond the person of Nicolas Sarkozy or of me,” Hollande told journalists in a brief statement after the ceremony.

The 57-year-old Socialist won power on Sunday, ousting right-winger Sarkozy after a single five-year term, and is due to take office formally on May 15.

Signature : PARIS (AFP)

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