CAIRO/PARIS, Nov 13 (Reuters) – France became the first
European power to recognise Syria’s new opposition coalition as
the sole representative of its people and said on Tuesday it
would look into arming rebels against President Bashar al-Assad
once they form a government.
Twenty months into their bloody uprising against Assad,
fragmented Syrian opposition groups struck a deal in Qatar on
Sunday to form a broad coalition and their leader immediately
appealed for European backing.
PARIS, Nov 13 (Reuters) – France broke ranks with its
European allies on Tuesday by officially recognising Syria’s new
opposition coalition and said it would consider arming the
rebels once they created a government in waiting.
Syrian opposition groups struck a deal in Doha on Sunday to
form a broad coalition to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad
after 20 months of an uprising against his rule.
PARIS/ALGIERS (Reuters) – Algeria has given its tacit approval for an Africa-led military intervention in northern Mali to rout Islamist militants despite reservations the operation could spill over into its territory and neighboring countries, Algerian and French sources said.
Africa’s biggest country and a top oil and gas exporter shares a 2,000 km (1,242 mile) border with Mali and sees itself as the major regional power, wary of any outside interference.
PARIS, Oct 12 (Reuters) – The Kurdish National Congress, a
coalition of Kurdish groups across Europe, said on Friday it
considered the arrest of one of its members in France as a
“head-on attack” against the Kurdish people to satisfy Turkey.
Adem Uzun, deemed by Ankara to be the main leader in Europe
of the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) armed separatist
group, was detained this week pending trial on suspicion of
belonging to a terrorist association and trying to acquire
PARIS (Reuters) – UNESCO is in its “worst ever financial situation” after its biggest contributor the United States froze funding last year, the director general of the United Nations’ cultural agency said on Thursday.
The United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization was plunged into crisis in October 2011 when Washington, an ally of Israel, cancelled its grant in protest at the body’s decision to grant the Palestinians full membership.
KINSHASA/PARIS, Oct 10 (Reuters) – President Francois
Hollande looks set to make African leaders sweat at a gathering
of French-speaking nations in Democratic Republic of Congo this
week, when he attempts to cut murky ties with France’s former
More than 70 French-speaking countries, many of them
African, will arrive in Kinshasa for the 14th annual
Francophonie summit Oct. 12-14, with Congo’s eastern rebellion
and the Islamist takeover of Mali’s north to top the agenda.
PARIS (Reuters) – Syria’s main opposition bloc will restructure itself in Qatar next week to seek fresh impetus, Syrian National Council leader Abdulbaset Sieda said on Wednesday, after months of criticism that it is too fractious and influenced by Islamists.
Sieda, speaking in Paris, also said the SNC reorganization would precede crunch talks in the Qatari capital Doha with other opponents of President Bashar al-Assad aimed at creating a Syrian transitional government.
PARIS, Oct 9 (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande
called the state of human rights in the Democratic Republic of
Congo “totally unacceptable” on Tuesday, just days before he
heads to the country for a summit of French-speaking nations.
Hollande, who travels to Kinshasa on Saturday, has promised
a clean break from the murky ties that bound France to former
African colonies. He has vowed not to interfere in internal
politics as countries make transitions through the ballot box.
PARIS (Reuters) – U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will visit Syria soon to try to persuade Bashar al-Assad’s government to call an immediate ceasefire in an 18-month-old conflict with rebels, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Tuesday.
Efforts by Brahimi’s predecessor, Kofi Annan, to engineer a truce collapsed within days, with neither the Damascus government nor opposition forces willing to abide by conditions for an effective cessation of hostilities.
PARIS, Oct 9 (Reuters) – U.N. special envoy Lakhdar Brahimi
will go to Syria this week to try to persuade Bashar al-Assad’s
government to call an immediate ceasefire in an 18-month-old
conflict with rebels, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on
Efforts by Brahimi’s predecessor, Kofi Annan, to engineer a
ceasefire collapsed within days, with neither the Damascus
government nor opposition forces willing to abide by conditions
for an effective cessation of hostilities.