Macron's first non-Europe trip focuses on fighting extremism

Russian President Vladimir Putin and new French leader Emmanuel Macron discussed boosting poor ties between Paris and Moscow in their first phone conversation, the Kremlin said yesterday.

The leaders expressed intentions to "work together on pertinent worldwide and regional issues, including the fight against terrorism", the Kremlin said in a statement.

Putin congratulated Emmanuel Macron upon taking office as France' new president and forming a new cabinet.

"My wish is for us to accelerate" the deal's implementation, Macron said at a press conference, describing the so-called Algiers Accord as the top priority to ensure Mali's security.

In his first cabinet line-up, the new head of state mixed profiles unknown for public with others coming from the political mainstream to end decades of right-left divide.

GAO, Mali France will be uncompromising in its fight against militant Islamists in Mali and the Sahel region, President Emmanuel Macron said on Friday during his first visit outside Europe's borders.

Goulard, 52, is a European Parliament member and strongly pro-European centrist politician who will be expected to champion Macron's push for joint European military operations.

Yesterday's announcement follows the appointment of Edouard Philippe, a conservative lawmaker from the Republicains party, as prime minister.

The publication came on the eve of Macron's official visit to Mali, and criticized the handling of the media at the Elysee Palace and during Macron's foreign trips.

"It has been agreed to work jointly along crucial global and regional tracks, including the struggle against terrorism". "France has the military and political power to bring back peace in Mali, but we observe that even groups that signed the peace agreement are still fighting each other".

During a press briefing following the first cabinet meeting, the French government's spokesman, Christophe Castaner, said selecting just 25 reporters was due to the short time frame to organize the Mali trip.

Half of the appointees announced Wednesday are men and half are women.

The most senior Cabinet job, interior minister, went to Gerard Collomb, 69, long-time Socialist mayor of Lyon who played a key role in Mr Macron's presidential bid.

In the list appeared Sylvie Goulard, a centrist European Union lawmaker, in charge of defense affairs, Agnes Buzyn, solidarity and health minister and Muriel Penicaud, a minister in charge of employment issue.

Bruno Le Maire, who served under former centre-right President Nicolas Sarkozy, has been named as Macron' s Economy Minister, Nicolas Hulot, a well-known environmentalist, becomes Ecology Minister, the media reports added.

  • Leroy Wright