World

France's top diplomat welcomes Clinton's presidential bid, calls her as 'exceptional' woman

FILE - In this June 10, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves as the arrives at Lusaka International Airport in Lusaka, Zambia. Clinton confidantes view her four years at the helm of the State Department as her golden era _ a chance for one of the country’s most polarizing figures to jump off the political treadmill. She set a record for international travel and prioritized issues she had long been passionate about, including global health and boosting opportunities for women and girls. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)

FILE - In this June 10, 2011, file photo, then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton waves as the arrives at Lusaka International Airport in Lusaka, Zambia. Clinton confidantes view her four years at the helm of the State Department as her golden era _ a chance for one of the country‚Äôs most polarizing figures to jump off the political treadmill. She set a record for international travel and prioritized issues she had long been passionate about, including global health and boosting opportunities for women and girls. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool, File)  (The Associated Press)

The French foreign minister has offered unusual praise for Hillary Rodham Clinton's announcement that she is running for the U.S. presidency.

Clinton is "an exceptional woman for a job that requires exceptional qualities," Laurent Fabius said in a statement and a tweet on Monday. It was a rare show of support from a French official to a candidate for a crucial foreign election.

Fabius, France's top diplomat, met Clinton several times after he became minister in President Francois Hollande's Socialist government in 2012, when Clinton was secretary of state. Fabius praised Clinton's "leadership" and "natural authority" last July during a reception organized in her honor in Paris.

Clinton announced her Democratic presidential bid Sunday.