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Jun 27, 2015

Disputes linger as Iran, powers push for nuclear deal: France

VIENNA (Reuters) – An accord to curb Iran’s nuclear program remains elusive due to disagreements on fundamental issues, France’s foreign minister said on Saturday in Vienna, just days before the June 30 deadline for a deal.

Laurent Fabius spoke to reporters upon arrival in the Austrian capital after top U.S. and Iranian diplomats said hard work was still needed for what could be their final negotiations to bridge significant differences.

Jun 26, 2015

Big hurdles to Iran nuclear deal as deadline looms

VIENNA, June 26 (Reuters) – As a June 30 deadline for a
final nuclear deal approaches, major differences remain between
Iran and world powers on several key issues including sanctions
relief and U.N. access to Iranian sites, a senior Western
diplomat said on Friday.

“The most difficult subjects need to be resolved in the
coming days,” the diplomat told reporters on condition of
anonymity in the Austrian capital, where talks between the
United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and Iran
have entered their final phase.

Jun 25, 2015

France cracks down on Uber after taxi driver protests

PARIS (Reuters) – France ordered a nationwide clampdown on UberPOP on Thursday, siding with taxi drivers who blockaded major transport hubs in angry protests against the popular online ride-sharing service.

Furious at what they regard as unfair competition, cabbies blocked roads to the capital’s airports, overturned cars and burned tyres to press for the scheme to be abolished.

Jun 25, 2015

French minister urges UberPOP ban as taxi protest blocks airports

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s interior minister called for a nationwide legal clampdown on UberPOP on Thursday, siding with taxi drivers who blockaded major transport hubs in angry protests against the U.S. online ridesharing service.

Arguing that the service represented unfair competition, cabbies blocked roads to the French capital’s Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Orly airports, prompting operator Aeroports de Paris to warn travelers to use local train services.

Jun 24, 2015

France, Saudi Arabia inch closer to civil nuclear deal

PARIS, June 24 (Reuters) – France and Saudi Arabia agreed on
Wednesday to press ahead with feasibility studies to build two
flagship Areva-designed EPR nuclear reactors as the
two allies firm up business ties amid tensions across the

The countries set up a joint committee in May to finalise
some 20 projects across sectors ranging from defence to
transport infrastructure and civil aviation over the coming
months worth billions of euros.

Jun 24, 2015

France summons U.S. envoy over ‘unacceptable’ spying

PARIS (Reuters) – France on Wednesday summoned the U.S. ambassador to explain allegations of what French President Francois Hollande branded “unacceptable” spying by the United States on French officials.

Hollande held an emergency meeting of ministers and army commanders after WikiLeaks revelations that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) had spied on the last three French presidents.

Jun 23, 2015

China may buy 50-70 Airbus A330 jets: sources

PARIS (Reuters) – Airbus is in talks to sell some 50-70 A330 wide-body jets to China as part of plans to set up a new industrial plant in the world’s fastest-growing aviation market, sources familiar with the discussions said on Tuesday.

Airbus has been negotiating for about 18 months to establish an A330 cabin-completion center in China alongside its existing final assembly plant for smaller A320 jets at the northern port city of Tianjin.

Jun 21, 2015

France says Iran deal ‘still not clear’ as deadline nears

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – France’s Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Sunday it was unclear whether an international deal could be reached on Iran’s nuclear program by a June 30 deadline.

Fabius has said he would meet his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday to assess where Iran stands ahead of the final round of talks on its nuclear program, which begin later in the week.

Jun 21, 2015

Israel’s Netanyahu takes aim at French peace initiative

JERUSALEM, West Bank (Reuters) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prefaced talks about a French-led peace initiative on Sunday by saying foreign powers were trying to dictate terms to Israel for a deal with the Palestinians.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, on a two-day visit to the Middle East, urged Israel not to prejudge his efforts and warned of the dangers of continued stalemate.

Jun 21, 2015

Inaction on peace risks setting Israeli-Palestinian conflict “ablaze” – France

CAIRO (Reuters) – French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius warned Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday that the stalemate in the peace process risked setting the conflict “ablaze” and urged both sides to return to the negotiating table quickly.

U.S.-led efforts to broker a so-called two-state solution collapsed in April 2014 and leaders on both sides have since been weakened politically. But with the region’s crises worsening and Washington reassessing its options on relations with Israel, France sees a narrow window to resume negotiations.