PARIS (Reuters) – French far-right leader Marine Le Pen accused the two major parties on Sunday of telling mayors across the country not to endorse her presidential candidacy, a move her allies said was “muzzling democracy”.
Despite strong public support, Le Pen says she is 150 signatures short of the 500 required from elected local officials in order to stand.
PARIS, Feb 4 (Reuters) – President Nicolas Sarkozy
said on Saturday France was consulting with Arab and European
countries to create a contact group on Syria to find a solution
to its crisis after Russia and China vetoed a resolution at the
U.N. Security Council.
France and Britain had crafted the resolution, which
condemned the Syrian government’s violent crackdown on 11 months
of protests and backed an Arab League peace plan that would see
President Bashar al-Assad give up power.
PARIS (Reuters) – France raised the pressure on Russia on Saturday by warning that countries that blocked a U.N. Security Council resolution on Syria after activists said more than 200 people were killed in Homs would bear a “heavy responsibility in history.”
The comments came after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said a draft U.N. resolution on Syria was “not hopeless,” but needed amendments to avoid giving the impression the world body was taking sides.
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s foreign minister said on Wednesday he hoped U.N. Security Council members could produce a compromise resolution on Syria by next week and sought to allay Russian concerns by warning military intervention could lead to civil war.
France is pushing hard for adoption of a U.N. resolution condemning the Syrian government’s crackdown on 11 months of protests and backing an Arab League peace plan that would see power transfer from President Bashar al-Assad.
PARIS/ANKARA (Reuters) – French lawmakers appealed to their country’s highest court on Tuesday to overturn a law that makes it illegal to deny that the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago was genocide.
The move raises the possibility that the law, which sparked an angry reaction in Turkey, will be dismissed as unconstitutional.
PARIS (Reuters) – French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe will address the U.N. Security Council in New York on Tuesday in an effort to push through an Arab-backed resolution for political change in Syria.
“The minister will be in New York on Tuesday to convince the Security Council to meet its responsibilities as the crimes against humanity committed by the regime get worse,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said on Monday.
PARIS (Reuters) – French troops will start handing over security to the Afghan army in March and focus on training until pulling out of Afghanistan completely at the end of 2013, President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Friday.
Sarkozy suspended training and support operations on the ground last week and sent his defense minister and armed forces chief to Kabul after four of their soldiers were killed by a rogue Afghan soldier.
PARIS (Reuters) – Afghan President Hamid Karzai meets Nicolas Sarkozy later on Friday hoping to convince Paris not to accelerate its troop withdrawal and clinch a partnership agreement for post-2014.
The French president last week suspended all French training and support operations on the ground and sent his defence minister and armed forces chief to Kabul after four of their soldiers were killed by a rogue Afghan soldier.
PARIS (Reuters) – A leading Syrian opposition group based abroad is ready to give money and equipment to rebels in Syria fighting President Bashar al-Assad as they work towards creating an organized command structure, a senior group member said on Friday.
After months of distant relations, the Syrian National Council (SNC) and rebel Free Syria Army (FSA) struck a deal earlier this month to reorganize loosely-structured units fighting under the FSA umbrella.
PARIS (Reuters) – A group of Western and Arab nations are seeking the expulsion of Syria from the U.N. cultural agency’s human rights committee, diplomats said, the latest effort to raise international pressure on Damascus to stop its violent crackdown on protests.
The U.N. Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) executive board, which includes the United States, France and Russia, elected Syria to two panels in November, including one that judges human rights violations.