Keyword: Jean-Yves Le Drian

Key socialist minister backs centrist French presidential candidate

Maverick centrist Emmanuel Macron received a significant boost to his presidential election campaign when defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, a veteran Socialist Party figure, announced his support for Macron's candidature in an interview published Friday. 

Socialist candidate Hamon struggles to make voice heard in atypical French election

Benoît Hamon on the evening he won the socialist primary election in January 2017. © Reuters Benoît Hamon on the evening he won the socialist primary election in January 2017. © Reuters

The official Socialist Party candidate in the French presidential election, Benoît Hamon, has been deserted by a section of the right wing of his own party who are opting to support the independent centrist Emmanuel Macron. The latest high-profile figures to support Macron are former Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë and defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, a close ally of President François Hollande. Some in Hamon's team say the defections make it easier for their candidate to make his pitch on the left. But as Stéphane Alliès and Lénaïg Bredoux report, his campaign is so far pretty much inaudible.

Was murder of two French journalists in Mali linked to unpaid ransoms?

Image from a video in which AQMI claimed responsibility for taking the hostages in Niger. Image from a video in which AQMI claimed responsibility for taking the hostages in Niger.

In November 2013 two journalists from French public broadcaster RFI, Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, were kidnapped and killed while on assignment in the north of Mali. The exact reasons why the pair were killed have never been clear. Now an investigation suggests the murders may have been a revenge attack after the jihadist kidnappers of four other French hostages had not received all the ransom reportedly paid to secure their release. Yann Philippin reports.

France thwarts 24,000 cyber-attacks against defence targets

Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says such attacks are doubling every year and says 2017 presidential elections could be targeted.

Five dead as French surveillance plane crashes

Three French defence ministry officials and two pilots, also French, were killed in crash as plane heading for Libya took off from Malta airport.

France sells military helicopters to Kuwait in €1 bn deal

Agreement to buy the Airbus Caracal helicopters is part of a 2.5 billion euro package of deals that the two countries agreed in October 2015.

France to boost number of troops in Ivory Coast

Move comes at time of growing regional terror threats and after Islamist attack on Grand Bassam beach resort in March that left 19 people dead.

France to wind down Central African Republic force by 'end of 2016'

Defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says France, which has 900 soldiers in strife-torn nation, aims to reduce troops levels to pre-crisis level.

France warns of Islamic State attempt to grab Libyan oil fields

French defence minister said the jihadist group, which controls a stretch of the Libyan coast, were 'starting to penetrate' inland for oil wells and reserves.

France bombs Islamic State oil supply plant in Syria

French jets attacked an oil depot near Deir Ezzor, close to the Syrian border with Iraq, in third wave of air strikes ordered by Paris over Syria.

France mobilizing 10,000 troops after deadly Paris attacks

Defence minister announces use of soldiers on home soil with 4,700 personnel deployed at France's 717 Jewish schools.

France says it has 'neutralised' nearly 200 jihadists in Sahel

French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian says some important leaders are among those killed or captured, mostly in Mali and Niger.

French defence minister says Russia may never receive Mistral warships

Jean-Yves Le Drian's comments came days after President Hollande said France would postpone handover of first ship because of Ukraine crisis.

France 'slowly reclaiming its old African empire'

More than 50 years after granting its colonial empire independence, it seems Paris cannot keep its nose out of Africa, argues Newsweek's Brian Eads.

Cash-strapped France struggling to fund its military campaigns abroad

 © Reuters © Reuters

The French government last week announced major cuts in defence spending which include the axing next year of 7,500 jobs in its armed forces, the subsequent closure of several military bases, the scrapping of an artillery regiment and the decommissioning of several warships. "The sovereignty of our country depends as much on tackling our public accounts as on our defence," said defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian as he detailed the cull on October 15th. But the minister is also under intense pressure over the massive, budget-busting spending of ongoing French military operations abroad, principally in West and Central Africa, and now also against Islamic State militants in Iraq. Lénaïg Bredoux reports on the opaque funding of the campaigns, including the indirect contribution of the French education ministry, and Le Drian’s controversial and urgent plans to set up public-private partnerships to finance French defence procurement through leasing deals.