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Jan 22, 2014

Syria peace conference opens with rifts over Assad

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) – Syria’s government and its enemies came face to face for the first time on Wednesday at a one-day peace conference in Switzerland which world powers hope can at least start a process to end three years of civil war.

There was immediate evidence of sharp differences, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that President Bashar al-Assad must step down, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cautioned against outsiders meddling in Syria’s affairs.

Jan 22, 2014

Syria peace conference opens, divided over Assad

MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) – Syria’s government and its enemies came face to face on Wednesday for the first time as a peace conference began in Switzerland which world powers hope can at least start a process to end three years of civil war.

There was immediate evidence of sharp differences, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry insisted that President Bashar al-Assad must step down, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov cautioned against outsiders meddling in Syria’s affairs.

Jan 17, 2014

French 15-year-olds travel to Syria for jihad: father

TOULOUSE/PARIS (Reuters) – Two French 15-year-olds have left France to join Islamist militants in the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, one of their fathers and the Toulouse prosecutor said on Friday.

“I’ve informed the Paris anti-terrorist prosecutor because the two boys made their intention clear that they would travel to Syria via Turkey,” prosecutor Michel Valet told Reuters.

Jan 12, 2014

Friends of Syria group urges opposition to attend Geneva talks

PARIS (Reuters) – The “Friends of Syria”, an alliance of mainly Western and Gulf Arab countries who oppose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, urged opposition groups on Sunday to attend this month’s peace talks, saying there was no other route to a political solution.

With 10 days to go until the first direct talks between the opposition and President Bashar al-Assad’s government – set for January 22 in Switzerland and dubbed “Geneva 2″ – Western backers have struggled to unify rebel groups.

Jan 9, 2014

Japan urges ‘hotline’ with China, plays down shrine visit

PARIS (Reuters) – Japan, at odds with China on territorial and other issues, took its case to Europe on Thursday, defending Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s visit to a war shrine and reiterating its call for an emergency hotline between Tokyo and Beijing.

Ties between the two Asian economic giants, never warm, were further strained last month when Abe visited Tokyo’s Yasukuni Shrine, where Japanese leaders convicted as war criminals are enshrined with other war dead, angering China and South Korea.

Jan 8, 2014

Central African leader faces pressure to quit at Thursday summit

DJAMENA/PARIS (Reuters) – Central African Republic’s interim President Michel Djotodia will face pressure to step down at a summit of regional leaders on Thursday amid frustration at his failure to quell his country’s religious violence.

Political sources in Bangui and French diplomatic sources said Djotodia was expected to step aside at the meeting of leaders from the Economic Community of Central African States (CEEAC) in the Chadian capital N’Djamena.

Dec 19, 2013

Dassault hopeful to seal India Rafale deal in coming months

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s defence minister played down another sales failure for the Dassault-made Rafale fighter jet in Brazil, saying he was confident there would soon be better news from tenders in India and Gulf Arab countries.

Built by Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), the Rafale has still not found a foreign buyer for its multi-role jet, billed to be one of the most effective and sophisticated fighter jets in the world, but also one of the most expensive.

Dec 19, 2013

France soothes nerves over Dassault jets after Brazil setback

PARIS, Dec 19 (Reuters) – France’s defence minister played
down another sales failure for the Dassault-made Rafale fighter
jet in Brazil, saying he was confident there would soon be
better news from tenders in India and Gulf Arab countries.

Built by Dassault Aviation, the Rafale has still
not found a foreign buyer for its multi-role jet, billed to be
one of the most effective and sophisticated fighter jets in the
world, but also one of the most expensive.

Dec 17, 2013

France says EU countries to send troops to C. African Republic

PARIS/BANGUI, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Some European countries
will send troops to support a French-African mission to restore
order in Central African Republic, French Foreign Minister
Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday, as more violence was reported
outside the capital Bangui.

France has deployed 1,600 troops to its former colony to
prevent worsening violence between Christian militias and
largely Muslim Seleka rebels who ousted ex-President Francois
Bozize.

Dec 17, 2013

France says EU countries to send troops to Central African Republic

PARIS/BANGUI (Reuters) – Some European countries will send troops to support a French-African mission to restore order in Central African Republic, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday.

France has deployed 1,600 troops to its former colony to prevent worsening violence between Christian militias and largely Muslim Seleka rebels who ousted ex-President Francois Bozize.