Over 60% of French Satisfied With President Macron's New Government

Emmanuel Macron's election as French president was the best news Canada could have hoped for particularly regarding free trade Canada's ambassador to France said Thursday

Over 60% of French Satisfied With President Macron's New Government

New French President Emmanuel Macron will hold talks with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Paris during a working dinner on Sunday night, the French presidency said in a statement on Saturday.

Most of Northern Mali was occupied in early 2012 by Tuareg separatists and Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda such as Ansar Dine.

"Germany knows that what is at stake here is also part of Europe's security and our future", he said.

"Germany can not intervene, considering its doctrine, as quickly and as efficiently as France", Macron said, referring to German sensitivities about sending forces overseas except for peace missions, in part due to memories of Nazi militarism.

Macron was expected to emphasize the need for closer European cooperation in the fight against jihadists, especially with fellow EU heavyweight Germany, French officials said.

"It is not at all up to the Elysee to choose who among us has the right to cover a trip, whatever the theme", the letter said.

In stark contrast to his opponent in the second round of the presidential election, French nationalist Marine Le Pen, Macron championed Europe.

Macron was greeted by Malian counterpart Ibrahim Boubacar Keita at an air base in the eastern city of Gao, home to France's largest overseas military operation. Another prominent Socialist appointment is that of former Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who will now take over the foreign affairs portfolio.

Macron also promised French troops: "I won't risk your lives for nothing. but my determination when in action will be total".

Most of the terrorists in the region trace their origins to al-Qaida's North Africa branch.

Macron said he discussed the issue this week with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The victims were soldiers and former fighters trying to stabilize the region after a 2015 agreement with the government.

The German government earlier this year approved an expansion of the country's military deployment in Mali, with Berlin sending more helicopters to support the United Nations peacekeeping mission there and raising the maximum number of German soldiers from 650 to 1,000.

The Sahel, a politically volatile, mainly desert expanse stretching from Mauritania in the west to Sudan in the east, hosts a variety of jihadist groups and is seen as a springboard for attacks on European targets.

Gao is where a suicide attack on a Malian army camp killed more than 75 people in January.

Macron extended his support to Mali's president, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and assured him that France would continue to assist him in combating the situation with militants.

Associated Press writers Sylvie Corbet and John Leicester in Paris and Baba Ahmed in Bamako, Mali contributed.

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