News / Europe

    French Foreign Minister Leaves Office

    French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius leaves the Elysee Palace following the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, France, Feb. 10, 2016.
    French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius leaves the Elysee Palace following the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, France, Feb. 10, 2016.
    VOA News

    French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius is leaving his post to become the president the Constitutional Council, the country's supreme court that reviews compliance of laws with the constitution.

    President Francois Hollande formally proposed the nomination of the 69-year-old Fabius on Wednesday, before an anticipated Cabinet reorganization.
     
    Fabius, a former prime minister, has been in the post since 2012 and would assume the new position in early March, after parliamentary committees endorse his nomination.

    Potential successors

    No word yet about Fabius replacement, but Segolene Royal, the environment minister and ex-partner of Hollande, is among the potential successors, as is former prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault.

    FILE - French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal leaves following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Oct. 1, 2014.
    FILE - French Minister for Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy Segolene Royal leaves following the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, Oct. 1, 2014.

    France's Syrian policy

    In a speech Wednesday at the National Assembly, Fabius denounced the “terrifying brutality” of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.

    He also reiterated his criticism of the United States policy on Syria, calling it “ambiguous” and adding that one does not “get the feeling that there is a very strong commitment.”

    Fabius represented France in the nuclear negotiations with Iran. He worked to help revive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and has been a strong supporter of the "two-state solution.''
     
    Climate conference

    In December, he was instrumental for the agreement reached at the U.N. climate conference in Paris.

    French Foreign Minister and president of the COP21 Laurent Fabius uses to hammer to mark the adoption of the agreement while United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres looks on.
    French Foreign Minister and president of the COP21 Laurent Fabius uses to hammer to mark the adoption of the agreement while United Nations climate chief Christiana Figueres looks on.

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