Emmanuel Macron visits French troops posted to Mali on anti-jihad mission

Paris: French President Emmanuel Macron's new centrist party has stretched its lead in the polls ahead of parliamentary elections next month, new survey data showed on Thursday, adding to the positive momentum for the 39-year-old leader.

After the meeting, Macron talked by phone with Putin about possible cooperation on global issues, including the fight against terrorism.

New French President Emmanuel Macron, in his inaugural address, pledged on Sunday to work to overcome divisions in society which had been shown by the presidential election campaign and seek to build a strong France that was sure of itself in the world.

(AP Photo/Christophe Ena). New French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb arrives for the first weekly cabinet meeting under new French President Emmanuel Macron, Thursday, May 18, 2017 at the Elysee Palace in Paris.

France's new president has chosen the West African nation of Mali for his first official visit outside Europe. Why?

"For reasons of space or safety, we understand the need - occasionally - for reporter pools, on the condition that all newsrooms have access according to an established rotation", the groups said in the statement, released on websites and via Twitter accounts.

The presence of French Development Agency (AFD) chief Remy Rioux in the president's entourage is taken as a sign that Macron wants to put more emphasis on economic development in its former colonies.

The first government is a melting pot of figures from centre-right, centrist and Socialist parties as well as newcomers to politics, which some observers believe could lead to tensions and differences over policy. It noted that they underlined the importance of cooperation in settling the Ukrainian crisis on the basis of the Minsk agreement. "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".

In addition to being gender-balanced, Macron's cabinet also includes a diverse set of appointees that lean politically left and right, and individuals from public, private and nonprofit sectors.

In one of Macron's first global trips, journalists unleashed a tense debate on Thursday, since the Elysee Palace directly contacted those who will be involved in the trip, with no taking into consideration the editorial offices´ views.

Mr Macron - accompanied by Defence Minister Sylvie Goulard and her predecessor, now Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian - will review some of the 4,000 anti-insurgent troops France has deployed in the region.

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.

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