Former President Barack Obama called French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron on Thursday to wish him "all the best" in the days leading up to the election, but the call was not an endorsement, according to an Obama spokesman.
Macron, who is at the top of many recent polls, thanked Obama on Twitter for their discussion, which took place just before Sunday's presidential election in France.
"The main message I have is to wish you all the best in the coming days and make sure that, as you said, you work hard all the way through because you never know, it might be that last day of campaigning that makes all the difference," Obama told Macron, the presidential frontrunner.
Macron posted video of their discussion on Twitter.
— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) April 20, 2017
Obama spokesman Kevin Lewis said in a statement that while the former president "appreciated the opportunity to hear from Mr. Macron," the purpose of the call was not to endorse him.
"President Obama appreciated the opportunity to hear from Mr. Macron about his campaign and the important upcoming presidential election in France, a country that President Obama remains deeply committed to as a close ally of the United States, and as a leader on behalf of liberal values in Europe and around the world," Lewis said.
"An endorsement was not the purpose of the call, as President Obama is not making any formal endorsement in advance of the run-off election on Sunday," he continued.
France will hold its presidential election on Sunday with multiple candidates, including right-wing, National Front Party candidate Marine Le Pen. If no one receives at least 50 percent of the vote–a likely possibility, with 11 candidates running–there will be a runoff election on May 7 between the top two vote-getters.
Both Le Pen and Macron hold a slight edge over competitors, according to recent polls.
Obama's call came in the wake of news that he would reemerge on the international stage in May. Obama plans to speak in Germany alongside German Chancellor Angela Merkel at a panel discussion on democracy.
The panel event, titled "Being Involved in Democracy: Taking on Responsibility Locally and Globally," will take place on May 25, the same day President Donald Trump is scheduled to appear at a NATO leaders' summit in Brussels.