#AceNewsReport – Aug.23: Belgian and French police officers will jointly patrol the trans-border high-speed #Thalys trains on a regular basis, an emergency Belgian Security Council meeting decided, according to TASS.
The decision was taken after phone conversations took place between French President Francois Hollande and Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel. The set of measures will also include tightened controls at railway terminals, strengthening cooperation with local police, and sample luggage inspections.
The new measures take effect at the beginning of this weekend, said the Belgian Interior Ministry statement.
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#AceBreakingNews – FRANCE – September 24 – An Algerian jihadist group has released a video that appears to show the beheading of French tourist Herve Gourdel, who was seized on Sunday.
An undated photo of Herve Gourdel taken in the Nice area of southern France
‘ Not the Beheading Video but Group Admitting to Kidnap ‘
Militant group Jund al-Khilafa had set a 24-hour deadline on Tuesday for France to halt air strikes in Iraq.
Mr Gourdel, 55, was abducted in the north-east Kabylie region.
France joined the US last week in launching air strikes on Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq but did not take part in the strikes on IS in Syria.
French President Francois Hollande and his Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, publicly rejected the group’s ultimatum on Tuesday.
The video of Mr Gourdel apparently being killed was entitled “Message of blood for the French government”, reports said.
#AceWorldNews – MOSCOW – June 29 – /ITAR-TASS/. Presidents Vladimir Putin of Russia, Pyotr Poroshenko of Ukraine and Francois Hollande of France, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a telephone conversation on Sunday to continue discussion of various aspects of the crisis in Ukraine, the Kremlin press service said, adding that it was a long conversation.
“The leaders agreed to continue telephone contacts in the four-party format,” the press service said.
Putin, Hollande, Merkel and Poroshenko also touched upon issues related to the signing of the association agreement between Ukraine and the European Union in Brussels on June 27.
#AceWorldNews – BRUSSELS – May 06 – French President Francois Hollande in a live TV channel BFM said that “it is necessary to make every possible effort to avoid civil war in Ukraine.”
“The main goal for France to assure the presidential elections in Ukraine on May 25,” Hollande said.
According to him, if the elections will not take place, the chaos and the danger of a civil war appear. “The most important now is to ensure that a chosen president will be perceived as legitimate by the entire population,” Hollande added.
#AceWorldNews – PARIS – April 25 – Leaders of the US, UK, Germany, Italy and France spoke in favour of the adoption of new sanctions against Russia, Elysee Palace announces.
The statement says that the French president Francois Hollande held telephone talks with US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, prime ministers of Italy and the UK Matteo Renzi and David Cameron.
“The Heads of State and Government called for the country’s “seven” to the rapid reaction (developments in Ukraine) and pointed at the possibility to new sanctions against Russia,” statement reports.
The French government says there are “indications” Syrian President Bashar al Assad is still using chemical weapons against his own people. Opposition groups claim chlorine gas attacks on at least three towns left dozens of people injured last week. “We have a few elements of information, but I do not have the proof,” French President Francois Hollande told Europe 1 radio station. “What I do know is what we have seen from this regime is the horrific methods it is capable of using and the rejection of any political transition.” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told the radio station there were “indications, which have yet to be verified, that there have been recent chemical attacks”.
He said they were “much less significant than those in Damascus a few months ago but very deadly”, and had taken place in the northwest of the country, near the Lebanese border. There are conflicting accounts about one attack in the town of Kafr Zita, near Hama, earlier in April, with both Mr Assad’s forces and the opposition accusing each other of being responsible. Activists accused the regime of using lethal chlorine gas – first used at Ypres during the First World War – saying it caused “more than 100 cases of suffocation”. Videos posted on social media by opposition groups show men and children in a field hospital coughing and showing symptoms of suffocation.
Asked about the reports, a Foreign Office spokesperson told Sky News: “We need to establish the facts, but are seriously concerned and nothing would surprise us given the regime’s history of using chemical weapons.” The Syrian regime has handed over 80% of its declared chemical weapons stockpile for destruction under UN supervision. It has until the end of June to destroy its chemical weapon stockpile if it wants to ward off the threat of US air strikes. The agreement was reached after a chemical attack outside Damascus last August that killed hundreds of people.
#AceWorldNews – FRANCE – April 20 – Four French journalists who were taken hostage in Syria arrived back in France on Sunday, to the relief of colleagues and family.
The journalists had been held captive for 10 months. French President Francois Hollande called their return “a day of joy for France” as he welcomed them at a military airbase on the outskirts of Paris.
Edouard Elias, Didier Francois, Nicolas Henin and Pierre Torres had been detained in two separate kidnappings last year.
Syria is renowned as being the world’s most dangerous country for media. Hollande noted that “there are still hostages being held in Syria because they are journalists.”
Ace Related News:
1. Four French Journalists – April `9 – 14.51 GMT – #AceWorldNews – SYRIA – April 19 – Four French journalists, who were captured by Syrian rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria in June 2013, are now free and in good health, says French President Francois Hollande, according to AFP. http://wp.me/p165ui-4S4
- Four French Journalists are Released http://www.dw.de/four-french-ex-hostages-in-syria-arrive-back-in-france/a-17579654
#AceWorldNews – SYRIA – April 19 – Four French journalists, who were captured by Syrian rebels from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria in June 2013, are now free and in good health, says French President Francois Hollande, according to AFP.
The journalists were found by Turkish soldiers on the border with Syria. They were immediately taken to hospital.
DHA said soldiers on patrol found the four blindfolded and handcuffed in south-east Sanliurfa province late Friday. Turkish television showed pictures of the four at the police station and then a local hospital.
It was not clear whether a ransom had been paid for their release, nor which group in Syria’s chaotic 3-year-old conflict held the men. In his statement, Hollande thanked “all those” who contributed to the journalists’ release without elaborating.
Long-standing French practice is to name a specific country that contributed to hostage releases. France denies it pays ransom to free its hostages.
Hollande’s office said the four would return soon to France, and it did not provide any details about the conditions of their release. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Romain Nadal declined to comment.
The four went missing in June 2013 in two incidents. Press freedom advocate Reporters Without Borders has called Syria “the most dangerous country in the world” for journalists. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists said in December that at least 30 journalists are being held and 52 have been killed since Syria’s civil war began in early 2011.
#Ace Related News:
#AceWorldNews – PARIS – March 31 – Interior Minister Manuel Valls has been appointed the new prime minister of France.
The appointment has just been announced by President Francois Hollande in a televised address.
Valls will replace Jean-Marc Ayrault who resigned earlier in the day.
#AceWorldNews says according to latest reports France is reportedly suspending preparations for a G8 summit to be held in Sochi, Russia, as part of pressure on the Kremlin over Ukraine.
President Francois Hollande met with Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and other officials this morning to discuss the situation in Ukraine and look for ways of de-escalating tensions and preventing military intervention, French media report, quoting sources in the Elysee Palace.
#ANS2014 – Voice of Russia – Interfax – AFP
#AceWorldNews says that according to latest from VOR that the European Union needs to work towards creating a regional communication network that circumvents the United States. In her latest podcast German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday, she will talk to French President Francois Hollande during an upcoming visit to Paris about building a European communication network.
#AceSecurityNews says according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to discuss building an anti-NSA European communication network with French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday during her visit to France, she said.
“Above all, we’ll talk about European providers that offer security for our citizens, so that one shouldn’t have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic.
Rather, one could build up a communication network inside Europe,” Merkel said. Hollande confirmed that the two countries have been negotiating on the issue. Merkel has been calling for strengthening data protection in Europe following the revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden regarding US mass surveillance in Europe.