News / Europe

Hollande Defends Africa Strategy, His Right to Privacy

French President Francois Hollande at a news conference, Jan.14, 2014.
French President Francois Hollande at a news conference, Jan.14, 2014.
Lisa Bryant
French President Francois Hollande says European countries likely will offer military backing to France's operation in the conflict-torn Central African Republic, and he denies his country is going it alone in defusing crises overseas. 

Hollande made the remarks in Paris Tuesday at a news conference that was overshadowed by reports about his personal life.

The president offered no deadline for the end of France's operation in the Central African Republic.  But he said Paris will not meddle in the African country's internal politics as it tries to form a transitional government.  

"France is working with African countries in the region to ensure that the CAR eventually will be able to have the same kind of political transition - including democratic elections - as in Mali," he said. "I predict that other European Union countries will agree to humanitarian and military aid when EU foreign ministers meet next week."

France's Africa policy - along with domestic issues like the economy, education and immigration - dominated Hollande's lengthy, new year's conference with reporters.

Polls rate him as France's most unpopular president in recent history.  Many French think his government has not done enough to battle high unemployment and the struggling economy.

Hollande also has been dogged by reports of an alleged affair with French actress Julie Gayet.  Hollande's partner, Valerie Trierweiler, was hospitalized on Friday after a tabloid published the allegations.

"I am going through painful times in my personal life, but I have the right to privacy,"  Hollande said.

He did not respond specifically to the allegations or whether he will take legal action against the tabloid that reported them.

Hollande outlined a more robust future for France, not only internationally, but also economically.  He discussed a pro-business economic policy aimed at spurring growth and jobs, and he discussed his upcoming trip to the Vatican to meet with Pope Francis.

"The pope's moral authority may be helpful in finding a political solution to the Syrian crisis. The pontiff's insights might be useful on other issues like the Palestinian-Israeli talks and the 2015 climate change summit that will take place in France," he said.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More