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President Emmanuel Macron has been inaugurated for a second term vowing to first take action to avoid any further escalation of Russia's war in Ukraine before going on to focus on promoting France and Europe on the world stage.
Macron was re-elected for five years on April 24 in a runoff that saw him beat out far-right rival Marine Le Pen.
"The time ahead will be that of resolute action for France and for Europe," Macron said on Saturday.
He promised to "first take action to avoid any escalation following Russia's aggression in Ukraine".
Macron vowed to "take action relentlessly with a goal, which is to be a more independent nation, to live better and to build our own French and European responses to the century's challenges."
Macron also promised to find a "fair method" to govern the country and ease social tensions by making the government and parliament work together with unions, associations and other people from the political, economic, social and cultural world.
For a president at ease speaking for hours on end, Macron's speech was surprisingly short -- and handwritten. But afterwards, he took his time to shake hands, exchange cheek kisses and chat individually with scores of guests.
While he presided over strict lockdowns and COVID-19 vaccine mandates as the pandemic swept through France, most restrictions have now been lifted and there was no sign of masks or social distancing at the inauguration.
The event seemed unusually child-friendly for French presidential ceremonies, with several dignitaries bringing their children -- and at least two in baby strollers. Macron, 44, has no children of his own but has stepchildren and grandchildren, some of whom were there.
About 500 guests were invited to the ceremony. They came primarily from the world of politics, though also included actors, health care workers, military officers and former presidents Francois Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy.
Most of those who received a coveted invitation to the event were white men in suits, despite a growing push for diversity in French politics.
Macron's second term will formally start on May 14.