Following the G7 summit in Japan, Emmanuel Macron arrived in Mongolia on Sunday in the first-ever visit to the country by a French president, when he held talks with Mongolian leader Ukhnaagiin Khürelsukh, notably over developing ties in energy supplies.
The pariah regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, ostracised for its bloody repression of opponents in a civil war estimated to have caused the deaths of more than 300,000 civilians, was last weekend re-admitted, with the encouragement of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to the Arab League. While the French government, like those of other Western countries, insists there will be no normalisation of its relations with the Assad regime, there are some in France’s economic circles who are openly keen to resume business dealings with Damascus. Elie Guckert reports.
France’s parliament has unanimously passed a non-binding resolution aimed at encouraging members of the EU to put Russian paramilitary group Wagner on its official list of terrorist organisations, opening up the possibilty of freezing the assets of it and its members, while media reports said a similar blacklisting was “imminent” by the UK and likely to be enacted within weeks.
King Charles's state visit to France between Sunday and Wednesday has been called off by President Emmanuel Macron in face of major disruption caused by popular protests against his reform of the pensions system, and with unions calling for a major day of action on Tuesday.
A visit to France by the UK's King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla, due to take place between next Sunday and Wednesday, is threatened with chaos as the continuing movement against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reforms sees unions refusing to prepare his red-carpet reception, while a further day of protest action has been called for Tuesday, the day of his planned visit to Bordeaux, where protestors on Thursday burned down the historic wooden door of its city hall.
With the help of leaked documents and witness accounts, Mediapart reveals the inside story on the United Arab Emirates' strategy to influence opinion in France, an operation involving private intelligence gathering and the manipulation of information . The story features an Emirati intelligence agent, a private intelligence agency in Switzerland, academics and two well-known French journalists. Another name that also crops up is that of President Emmanuel Macron's former bodyguard Alexandre Benalla. Yann Philippin and Antton Rouget investigate.
French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking in Paris before a visit to several African countries, has said the numbers of French troops stationed in Africa are to be reduced, while cooperation with its allies on military training and supplies of equipment will be increased.
The French government is considering introducing restrictions on water consumption as of March after the country recorded 32 continuous days, beginning on January 21st, without rainfall exceeding an average 1 millimetre, the driest period on mainland France since records began in 1959.
France has more combat aircraft, more frigates and more troops than Britain despite spending significantly less on defence, according to the military balance, an annual comparison of the strengths of armed forces around the world by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.
French agriculture minister Marc Fesneau has announced the end of a controversial exemption granted to sugar beet producers to use a family of insecticides dubbed “bee killers” and which were banned by the European Union in 2018. The move follows a ruling last week by the European Court of Justice, the EU’s supreme court, which outlaws member states from any further use of a legal loophole which allowed for "emergency" dispensation from the ban on neonicotinoids, which scientific studies have linked to a collapse of colonies of honey bees and other pollinators, and also bird populations. Amélie Poinssot reports.
Historian Jacques Krynen argues that French national pride and the country's sense of “superiority” have been passed down the ages and through various types of government and regimes to the modern era. And the legal historian believes its origins are to be found at the end of the 13th and the start of the 14th centuries, when Philip IV – better known to history as 'Philip the Fair' – was king of France. Fabien Escalona reports.