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Dec 5, 2012

No military intervention in Mali before September: U.N. peacekeeping chief

PARIS (Reuters) – International military intervention to oust Islamist militants from northern Mali is almost inevitable, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said on Wednesday, but he said no action was likely for almost a year.

The fall of the vast desert region to various Islamist groups, including al Qaeda’s North African wing AQIM, has created a safe haven for militants and international organized crime, raising fears of attacks in West Africa and Europe.

Dec 5, 2012

No military intervention in Mali before Sept -UN peacekeeping chief

PARIS, Dec 5 (Reuters) – International military intervention
to oust Islamist militants from northern Mali is almost
inevitable, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said on Wednesday, but
he said no action was likely for almost a year.

The fall of the vast desert region to various Islamist
groups, including al Qaeda’s North African wing AQIM, has
created a safe haven for militants and international organised
crime, raising fears of attacks in West Africa and Europe.

Dec 3, 2012

Hollande: Israeli settlement plan contrary to peacemaking

PARIS (Reuters) – French President Francois Hollande criticised a new Israeli settlement-building drive on occupied land on Monday as contrary to peacemaking with Palestinians but said Paris was not ready to impose sanctions on the Jewish state.

Speaking after Israel’s envoy in Paris was summoned to the French foreign ministry, Hollande said he was “extremely concerned” by Israel’s announcement that it would build 3,000 new settler homes in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, after a de facto U.N. recognition of Palestinian statehood.

Dec 3, 2012

France summons Israeli ambassador over settlements

PARIS (Reuters) – France summoned Israel’s envoy in Paris on Monday to tell him that the decision to expand settlement building in occupied territories was illegal and an “obstacle” to reviving peace talks with the Palestinians.

A French foreign ministry official had earlier brushed aside reports that Paris could recall its own envoy in Jerusalem and said Paris was looking at other ways of putting pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Nov 28, 2012

French government says has buyer for ArcelorMittal site

PARIS (Reuters) – The French government has found an industrialist willing to invest 400 million euros ($516.4 million) to renovate ArcelorMittal’s (ISPA.AS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) Florange steelworks in northeast France, a minister said.

Raising pressure on the group to agree to a sale, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg told lawmakers the interested party was a private investor from the steel industry who wanted to inject money into the site with the financial backing of the French state.

Nov 28, 2012

French govt says has buyer for ArcelorMittal site

PARIS, Nov 28 (Reuters) – The French government has found an
industrialist willing to invest 400 million euros ($516.4
million) to renovate ArcelorMittal’s Florange
steelworks in northeast France, a minister said.

Raising pressure on the group to agree to a sale, Industry
Minister Arnaud Montebourg told lawmakers the interested party
was a private investor from the steel industry who wanted to
inject money into the site with the financial backing of the
French state.

Nov 27, 2012

Days before vote, France backs state for “Palestine” at U.N.

PARIS/RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – France said on Tuesday it would vote in favor of Palestinian non-member status at the United Nations, an important boost in Palestinian efforts to secure greater international recognition.

The Palestinians have lobbied for support from European countries for their bid at watered-down statehood at the U.N. set for two days time. While Israel has lobbied against them, the Palestinians are set for a sure victory in the 193-member world body made up mostly of developing countries long sympathetic to their cause.

Nov 27, 2012

Russia says plans no switch out of euro reserves

PARIS (Reuters) – Russia has no plans to switch euro-denominated foreign exchange reserves into other currencies as Moscow believes the euro zone situation will improve, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.

Russia’s central bank has the world’s fourth-largest currency reserves, and as of January this year 42 percent were held in euros and 45 percent in U.S. dollars, with the rest in currencies like sterling, yen and Canadian dollars.

Nov 22, 2012

France indicates support for Palestinian U.N. vote

PARIS, Nov 22 (Reuters) – France on Thursday indicated it
would support efforts by the Palestinians to secure a diplomatic
upgrade at the United Nations, a decision likely to boost
Palestinian efforts as it seeks greater international
recognition.

Frustrated that their bid for full U.N. membership last year
failed amid U.S. opposition in the U.N. Security Council,
Palestinians have launched a watered-down bid for recognition as
a non-member state, similar to the Vatican’s U.N. status.

Nov 21, 2012

Mali kidnapping won’t pressurize France: Hollande

BAMAKO/PARIS (Reuters) – France will not be pressurized by the kidnapping of a French citizen in southwest Mali, President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday, stressing the hostage had not been seized in the Islamist-controlled north.

The kidnapping may increase tensions as African nations draw up plans to intervene in Mali where almost two-thirds of the country fell under Islamist hands after a coup earlier this year.