Barack Obama backs Emmanuel Macron in 'important' French presidential race
Barack Obama has weighed into France's presidential election in support of Emmanuel Macron.
In a message posted on Mr Macron's Twitter account, the former US president said he was endorsing the centrist candidate "because of how important this election is".
Mr Macron is facing far-right candidate Marine Le Pen in Sunday's run-off vote. Polls suggest he is well ahead.
Former US president Mr Obama said: "I'm not planning to get involved in many elections now that I don't have to run for office again, but the French election is very important to the future of France and the values that we care so much about."
He continued: "I have admired the campaign that Emmanuel Macron has run.
"He has stood up for liberal values. He put forward the vision for the important role that France plays in Europe and around the world.
"And he has committed to a better future for French people. He appeals to people's hopes and not their fears."
Mr Obama ended his message with the words "En Marche" (the name of Mr Macron's political movement) and "Vive La France".