French Foreign Minister Fabius to quit

Laurent Fabius leaves the Elysee Palace following the weekly cabinet meeting in Paris, 10 FebruaryImage copyright

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Laurent Fabius took part in his last cabinet meeting on Wednesday

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has said he is standing down.

The 69-year-old socialist told reporters that he had attended his final cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

Mr Fabius – who was prime minister in the 1980s – was seen as the architect of France’s tough foreign policy under President Francois Hollande.

Over the past three years French forces have battled militants in Mali and taken part in air strikes against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

Mr Fabius had been a vocal opponent of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.

He has also been widely hailed for helping forge an ambitious agreement to tackle global warming, during a UN summit in Paris last November.

There had been reports of Mr Fabius’s imminent departure as part of a wider cabinet reshuffle. He does not say why he was standing down.

President Hollande is expected to nominate him to head the France’s constitutional court, media reports say.

It is unclear who will replace Mr Fabius.

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