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Apr 11, 2014

Darfur rebel says peacekeepers turning blind eye to new violence

PARIS (Reuters) – A veteran rebel leader from Sudan’s Darfur region accused international peacekeepers on Friday of turning a blind eye to what he called a renewed campaign of ethnic cleansing by government-backed Arab militias.

International efforts have largely failed to end violence in the arid western territory, more than 10 years after Khartoum unleashed militias to try and crush a rebellion by mostly non-Arab insurgents.

Apr 7, 2014

Bouteflika to focus on Algerian economic reform-official

PARIS, April 7 (Reuters) – Algerian President Abdelaziz
Bouteflika has recovered strongly enough from a stroke to govern
and will push economic reforms, including loosening restrictions
on foreign investors if re-elected this month, campaign
spokesman Amara Benyounes said.

Benyounes, who is also Industry and Investment Minister, was
campaigning in Paris on Sunday to win support among Algeria’s
largest disapora ahead of April 17 presidential polls.

Apr 3, 2014

Trade ministry spat mars first day for new French cabinet

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s new government faced a first test of unity on Thursday as a power struggle broke out between Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and new Economy Minister Arnaud Montebourg over control of trade policy.

This week’s announcement of a smaller 16-minister team under new Prime Minister Manuel Valls, France’s tough-talking former interior minister, was billed as a break with the chaotic past 22 months of President Francois Hollande’s first government.

Apr 3, 2014

Chad to withdraw troops from AU mission in Central African Republic

DJAMENA (Reuters) – Chad said on Thursday it would withdraw its troops from an African Union peacekeeping mission in Central African Republic, a setback to attempts to build a large international force to stem religious conflict in the impoverished country.

Chadian soldiers have been at the heart of African efforts to stabilize CAR but its forces have been accused of siding with the mainly Muslim Seleka rebels whose seizure of power last year sparked tit-for-tat violence with Christian militia.

Apr 2, 2014

French foreign minister takes on trade, overseas growth, in expanded role

PARIS, April 2 (Reuters) – French Foreign Minister Laurent
Fabius, who has stood out in an otherwise unpopular government
for his firm handling of international crises, is to take on
responsibility for improving the country’s weak trade
performance, diplomatic sources said.

In a cabinet reshuffle on Wednesday, Fabius has been handed
the task of reducing the trade deficit and developing external
business as part of an expanded portfolio to boost growth
opportunities overseas, the sources told Reuters.

Mar 18, 2014

Russian deputy PM doubts France’s reliability as arms supplier

MOSCOW/PARIS, March 18 (Reuters) – Russian Deputy Prime
Minister Dmitry Rogozin criticised France on Tuesday for saying
it may cancel a 1.2 billion euro ($1.67 billion)
helicopter-carrier contract with Moscow over the Ukraine crisis,
and France seemed to back down on the issue.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius raised the
possibility on Monday of scrapping the deal depending on further
sanctions against Moscow over its seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea
region, but later said he was only considering delaying it.

Mar 16, 2014

Heart maker Carmat to wait before next transplant-founder

PARIS, March 16 (Reuters) – French artificial heart maker
Carmat will not carry out any more human transplants
until it has determined the cause of the death of the first
patient fitted with its device, one of the company’s co-founders
said on Sunday.

Carmat’s first patient, a 76-year-old man, died on March 2
in Paris, two and a half months after his operation.

Mar 15, 2014

France to review military cooperation with Russia in future sanctions

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande said on Saturday Paris would review its military cooperation with Russia as part of a third level of sanctions if Moscow did not de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine.

On Monday the United States and European Union are expected to unveil a list of Russian officials subject to asset freezes and visa bans as Western nations attempt to step up pressure on Moscow over its intervention in the Ukrainian region of Crimea.

Mar 15, 2014

France says it won’t forget Syria crisis, promises more pressure

PARIS (Reuters) – France will not “close its eyes” to the Syrian conflict despite other crises taking center stage, French President Francois Hollande said on Saturday, promising to increase efforts to reach a political solution.

More than 140,000 people have been killed and 2.5 million have fled abroad as refugees in an increasingly sectarian civil war. The conflict began with mass street protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011 but turned into an armed insurgency after he cracked down violently on demonstrators.

Mar 6, 2014

Big power talks on Ukraine crisis make little progress

PARIS/KIEV (Reuters) – High-level diplomatic efforts to resolve the crisis in Ukraine made little apparent headway at talks in Paris on Wednesday with Moscow and Washington at odds and Russia’s foreign minister refusing to recognize his Ukrainian counterpart.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said discussions would continue in the coming days in an attempt to stabilize the crisis and he expected to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov again in Rome on Thursday.