World France and its partners work on financing mechanism for Lebanon - Macron
French leader Macron is slapped during visit to small town
PARIS (AP) — French President Emmanuel Macron was slapped Tuesday in the face by a man during a visit to a small town in southeast France. Macron’s office confirmed a video that is widely circulating online. The French president can be seen greeting the public waiting for him behind traffic barriers in the small town of Tain-l’Hermitage after he visited a high school that is training students to work in hotels and restaurants. The video shows aMacron’s office confirmed a video that is widely circulating online.
PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday he was working with international partners to create a financial mechanism to ensure important public services can continue to work in Lebanon despite its deep political and economic crisis.
Lebanon is struggling to find enough foreign currency to pay for fuel and other basic imports, its finances crushed by a mountain of debt that has piled up since the country's 1975-1990 civil war.
Macron, who has led international aid efforts to France's former colony, has been trying to increase pressure on Lebanon's squabbling politicians to break months of deadlock on forming a new government and launch reforms to unlock foreign cash.
Slap to Macron puts focus on ultra-right groups
PARIS (AP) — Bubbling beneath France’s political landscape is an assortment of ultra-right groups, a subculture that shot to the nation’s attention when a young man slapped President Emmanuel Macron and blurted out a centuries-old royalist cry. Ignored by most people, ultra-rightist groups are considered increasingly dangerous despite their small following and are on the radar of authorities. Numerous arrests have been made and several groups banned, including one this year. Challenges to the French identity are often at the center of their ideologies.
"We are technically working with several partners in the international community so that at some point, (...) if the absence of government persisted, we could succeed in preserving a system under international constraint, which would then allow the funding of essential activities and support for the Lebanese people," Macron told a news conference.
He said he would continue to defend a roadmap he proposed last September by putting "maximum pressure" on the various parties. The roadmap envisages a government that would take steps to tackle endemic corruption and implement reforms needed to trigger billions of dollars of international aid.
"We remain invested (in Lebanon) but I cannot replace those who hold the system with all its defects and its imbalances. I hope that the spirit of responsibility which has been lacking for several months will start. The people deserve it," he said.
Led by France, technical discussions are under way at European Union level to set up sanctions that could target Lebanese figures who are blocking efforts to break the deadlock.
(Reporting by John Irish, Editing by Gareth Jones and Timothy Heritage)
Operation Barkhane: France declares end to anti-terror military mission in Sahel .
France is to end its years-long anti-terror mission targeting Islamists in the Sahel region of West Africa, French President Emmanuel Macron announced Thursday. © Daphne Benoit/AFP/Getty Images A French armoured vehicle drives by the Mount Hombori on March 27, 2019, in Mali's Gourma region as part of France's Operation Barkhane. However, the mission, known as Operation Barkhane, will be replaced by a more international effort, Macron told a press conference ahead of the G7 summit. He added that additional details would be announced "in the weeks to come.