#AceWorldNews – PARIS – September 25 – President Francois Hollande will convene an emergency meeting of his defence council Thursday after the beheading of Herve Gourdel, a 55-year-old French tourist taken hostage in Algeria, AFP said.
Hollande said France would “never give in to blackmail” after the militants demanded an end to French military operations in Iraq.
Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said French combat jets were in the air on Thursday morning as:
France carried out air strikes in Iraq according to government spokesman Stephane Le Foll. The strikes were the first by French jets since September 19 when France joined the US military action against Islamic State insurgents in Iraq, Reuters reported.
He also voiced an opinion of France’s possible participation in air-strikes on Islamic State targets in Syria is “on the table,” Reuters quoted the defence minister as saying on Thursday.
Jean-Yves Le Drian’s statement came hours after President Francois Hollande ruled out such strikes.
“The opportunity is not there today.
We already have an important task in Iraq and we will see in the coming days how the situation evolves,” Le Drian told RTL Radio, speaking about the possibility France might join raids in Syria.
AFP – RT – Reuters – RTL Radio
#AceWorldNews – BRITAIN (London) – July 20 – The Prime Minister has spoken to Chancellor Merkel and President Hollande this morning.
Both calls focused on 2 important issues: access to the crash site; and the EU’s approach to Russia given all the evidence suggests the missile was launched by pro-Russian separatists.
All 3 leaders agreed that the immediate priority is to secure access to the crash site and to ensure that specialist teams are able to recover the victims and return them home. They agreed President Putin has an important role to play by persuading the separatists to grant access and to work with the international community to ensure that all that needs to be done can be done as soon as possible.
They also agreed that the EU must reconsider its approach to Russia and that foreign ministers should be ready to impose further sanctions on Russia when they meet on Tuesday.
The Foreign Secretary will chair a further cross-Whitehall meeting on the MH17 disaster at 1pm today.
The Prime Minister is due to speak to President Putin early this evening.
The Prime Minister has chaired an emergency meeting on flight MH17 and had several discussions with other leaders.
British nationals who are concerned a friend or relative may be involved in the flight MH17 disaster should contact the Foreign Office on 020 7008 1500.
#AceWorldNews says President Francois Hollande said Thursday that France would not continue to accept the tax optimisation strategies used by multinational Internet giants like Google.
“This is not acceptable,” he told journalists, adding that he would discuss making a “tax harmonisation effort” with US President Barack Obama when the two meet in Washington next week.
His comments follow reports that France is seeking one billion euros ($1.36 billion) in tax from Google.