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France Mali

French forces leave Mali’s Timbuktu after nearly nine years (Al Jazeera)

French forces have left the city of Timbuktu, the latest sign the former colonial power is scaling down its presence in northern Mali nearly nine years after a military intervention that helped push back fighters that have overrun parts of the country.

It was in Timbuktu on February 2, 2013, that former French President Francois Hollande declared the start of France’s military offensive in Mali. On Tuesday, the French flag was lowered and the Malian flag raised in its place at a military base, where a force of about 150 soldiers had remained after France began withdrawing troops.

French forces leave Mali’s Timbuktu after nearly nine years | News | Al Jazeera

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China France

China, France pledge to deepen cooperation at virtual dialogue (Global Times)

China and France pledged to deepen bilateral economic and financial cooperation during a virtual economic dialogue on Monday, where officials vowed to collaborate in areas such as finance, nuclear energy, aviation and environmental protection.

China, France pledge to deepen cooperation at virtual dialogue – Global Times

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France Germany Russia

French and German approaches to Russia: What do they mean for EU policy? (Chatham House)

Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, France and Germany have been among the biggest supporters of engagement with Russia within the European Union (EU).

However, Russia’s annexation of Crimea, the ongoing war in Donbas, as well as the necessity to confront hybrid threats from Russia on their home front have made their mark on the policy calculations in Paris and Berlin.

This event examines how France and Germany are likely to navigate the contradictions in their Russia policy – such as their commitment to both sanctions and Nord Stream 2 – in the near to medium term. The discussion also examines how changing political landscapes in Paris and Berlin might affect their relations with Moscow, and the role France and Germany are likely to play in shaping EU policy towards Russia in the future.

Participants

Manuel Lafont Rapnouil, Head of Policy Planning, Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, France

Susan Stewart, Senior Fellow, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik; co-author of Chatham House research paper ‘French and German approaches to Russia: Convergence yes, EU compatibility no’

Moderator: James Nixey, Director, Russia and Eurasia Programme, Chatham House

French and German approaches to Russia: What do they mean for EU policy? (chathamhouse.org)

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France New Caledonia

New Caledonia holds tense final vote on independence from France (Al Jazeera)

The French Pacific territory of New Caledonia is voting in a third and final referendum on independence from France.

But the poll on Sunday is being marred by a boycott from the main independence parties who say the coronavirus pandemic is preventing a fair ballot.

New Caledonia holds tense final vote on independence from France | Independence News | Al Jazeera

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Australia France USA

French envoy says Australia “in denial” over subs row, trust regained with U.S. (Reuters)

France has restored “a degree of trust” with ally the United States but not with Australia after a debacle over Canberra’s cancellation of a multi-billion dollar submarine deal with Paris, a French regional envoy said on Thursday.

French envoy says Australia “in denial” over subs row, trust regained with U.S. | Reuters

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France

French defense minister: Shifting from a new frontier to a new front (Florence Parly, Defense News)

Their names are Syracuse and Ceres. They are located more than hundreds or thousands of kilometers above our heads, and they have recently allowed France to take a new step in the defense of its citizens.

The first one is a pillar of our sovereignty: This satellite allows the French military to process and exchange millions of gigabytes of data in real time. At a time of connected warfare and the digitization of the battlefield, such a capability is essential. Without Syracuse, the French armed forces would not have been able to conduct with the same success the Hamilton operation to destroy chemical weapons in Syria in 2018. At that time, there were two satellites; the third joined the stars in October 2021.

French defense minister: Shifting from a new frontier to a new front (defensenews.com)

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France Saudi Arabia

France’s Natixis to finance $2bn ACWA Power projects in 2 years (Arab News)

France-based Natixis Corporate and Investment Banking has signed an agreement to finance ACWA Power projects over the next two years – with funding of up to $2 billion.

The MoU will allow both parties to “explore opportunities to develop new projects in the region,” the Saudi clean energy provider said in a bourse filing.

Natixis has previously underwritten some of ACWA Power’s high-profile projects, including the Sakaka solar project.

France’s Natixis to finance $2bn ACWA Power projects in 2 years (arabnews.com)

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France Lebanon Saudi Arabia

Lebanese president, PM and parliament speaker express satisfaction with Saudi-French agreement (Najia Houssari, Arab News)

Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati has affirmed his government’s commitment to honoring its undertakings for reform.

Mikati said that his joint phone call on Saturday with Saudi and French leaders was “an important step toward restoring historic brotherly relations with Riyadh.”

Lebanese president, PM and parliament speaker express satisfaction with Saudi-French agreement (arabnews.com)

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France Saudi Arabis

President Macron’s visit to Saudi Arabia signals new era in French-Saudi cooperation (Arab News)

A joint statement covering a wide range of issues and the signing of a slew of agreements were the highlights of a visit to Saudi Arabia by French President Emmanuel Macron during the final leg of a two-day Gulf tour.

President Macron’s visit to Saudi Arabia signals new era in French-Saudi cooperation (arabnews.com)

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