LONDON/PARIS (Reuters) – Britain and France said on Tuesday they did not have to wait until August 1 to arm rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, contradicting European Union officials, but both countries stressed they had no plans to do so yet.
EU governments failed to renew an EU arms embargo on Monday due to differences in opinion, opening the way for Britain and France to supply weapons. But EU officials said the two countries had made a commitment not to do so before August 1.
PARIS, May 28 (Reuters) – France is testing samples of
suspected chemical weapon elements used against Syrian rebel
fighters and smuggled out by reporters from Le Monde newspaper
and will divulge the results in the next few days, a senior
French official said on Monday.
The official also said Paris recently carried out its own
tests on other samples it had obtained that had indicated the
use of battlefield gas.
PARIS (Reuters) – Holding a conference to end Syria’s civil war will be a “tall order”, Russia’s foreign minister said on Monday after talks with his U.S. counterpart, but he saw some chance of success.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said they would do their utmost to bring Syria’s warring parties to the table, as fighting intensified and new allegations of chemical weapons use surfaced.
PARIS (Reuters) – The U.S. and Russian foreign ministers met on Monday to discuss a planned conference aimed at ending Syria’s civil war against a backdrop of widening regional violence and new allegations of chemical weapons use.
John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov began one-on-one discussions in Paris, a U.S. official said, with such issues as when to hold the meeting on Syria, how to bring the warring parties to the table and whether to include Iran all likely to be on the table.
ABU DHABI (Reuters) – France’s foreign minister on Saturday ruled out Iran taking part in a proposed Syria peace conference, saying Tehran was involved in the conflict and had no desire for peace.
Laurent Fabius will host Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a dinner on Monday to discuss how to nudge Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian opposition into the talks in Geneva.
PARIS (Reuters) – France said on Thursday it hoped an initiative could be agreed by the end of June to put the armed wing of Hezbollah on the EU’s list of terrorist organizations on grounds the group is importing Syria’s war into Lebanon.
Paris has traditionally been cautious about backing steps to sanction Hezbollah, fearing it could destabilize Lebanon and put U.N. peacekeepers at risk, but in recent weeks has said it would consider all options.
PARIS, May 18 (Reuters) – Chinese, South Korean and Spanish
firms are vying to develop a hydropower project likely to cost
between $9 billion and $14 billion on the Congo River, Congolese
officials said on Saturday.
The planned Inga 3 scheme, which aims to overcome power
shortages that have curtailed economic growth in Africa, would
produce some 4,800 megawatts (MW) of electricity and is one of
the largest proposed power projects in Africa.
PARIS/DAKAR (Reuters) – Chad’s President Idriss Deby, a survivor of countless rebellions, has stepped into a void left by Africa’s traditional heavyweights and turned his desert nation into a powerbroker as France disengages from its former colonies.
The success of Chad’s 2,000 battle-hardened troops in a French-led mission to hunt down al Qaeda fighters in the deserts of northern Mali has marked it out as the only African nation to quickly deploy an effective fighting force.
PARIS (Reuters) – Niger’s foreign minister urged major powers on Thursday to act against Islamist militants who had found shelter in Libya’s vast southern desert and, he said, posed a growing threat to neighbouring countries.
Mohamed Bazoum, in Paris to meet his French counterpart Laurent Fabius, said Niger had information that Islamists who had been driven out of northern Mali by a French-led intervention force were setting up bases in Libya’s lawless south.
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s industry minister said he had blocked Yahoo Inc’s (YHOO.O: Quote, Profile, Research) plan to buy a majority stake in online video website Dailymotion because the U.S. group wanted to “devour” its smaller competitor.
Yahoo, which declined to comment, had been in talks to acquire a 75 percent stake in Dailymotion, owned by France Telecom’s Orange (FTE.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), a deal that would have valued Europe’s largest video website at $300 million.