Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Macron calls for countries' support in fighting extremism

Macron calls for countries' support in fighting extremism

France's centrist President Emmanuel Macron has announced his cabinet, appointing a mix of political ideologies as part of his promise to bridge the right-left divide.

It said in a statement that Vladimir Putin on Thursday congratulated French President Emmanuel Macron on taking office and forming his Cabinet.

"It is not our political origins that will prevent us from working intelligently for France", said Christophe Castaner, the government's spokesperson.

Macron said he had discussed stepping up cooperation in Mali with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin on Monday and she had been supportive. But other countries can do more, in terms of back-up, in terms of development (and) partnerships for equipment.

In January, Germany's cabinet approved the deployment of eight helicopters and 350 extra soldiers to Mali as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission, bringing total German strength there to around 1,000 soldiers.

The letter, which also was signed by press freedom group Reporters Without Borders, said: "In no case the Elysee must decide those of us who are entitled or not to cover a visit, whatever the theme is".

The Kremlin says the leaders of Russian Federation and France have discussed possible cooperation on global issues, including the fight against terrorism.

Mali's president expressed his gratitude toward France for its military intervention that began in 2013 after extremist groups overran the country's vast northern region.

It is France's largest overseas military mission, with more than 4,000 soldiers in Mali, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso and Mauritania.

At the end of his first week in office, Macron flew into Gao, a city in Mali's deeply-troubled north, where he will hold talks with his Malian counterpart Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.

According to French scholars Emmanuel Todd and Hervé Le Bras, zombie Catholicism is commonly seen in areas of France such as Macron's Brittany, where the religion appears to have fallen dormant but still remains active in the collective consciousness.

Unveiling his cabinet on Wednesday, Macron designated Gerard Collomb as the Interior Minister, former presidential hopeful François Bayrou for Justice and Jean-Yves Le Drian - who was Defence Minister under former President François Hollande - as the Foreign Affairs and Europe Minister, CNN reported.

In addition, the pope wished that France will continue to support efforts to sustain peace and uphold respect for life.

Associated Press writers Sylvie Corbet and John Leicester in Paris and Baba Ahmed in Bamako, Mali contributed.

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