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Laurent Fabius Bows out, Disappointed from Washington - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Laurent Fabius Bows out, Disappointed from Washington

Laurent Fabius Bows out, Disappointed from Washington

Paris- The 69-year-old Veteran French socialist politician and current Foreign Minister, Laurent Fabius, confirmed long-standing rumors that he would resign.

Coming out of the weekly cabinet meeting at the Elysée palace, he told reporters that he had attended his final cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

His departure came after President Francois Hollande nominated him to head France’s prestigious Constitutional Court, a post Fabius said he would take up in March “if things go as planned”.

A wider cabinet reshuffle is expected this week. Speculations are predominant over who could replace him as foreign minister, with the Environment Minister and former partner of François Hollande, Ségolène Royal, or the previous Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, tipped as possibilities.

Fabius followed the well-worn path to power in France, attending the elite National School of Public Administration (ENA).

A political prodigy, he became a lawmaker aged 32. Three years later, President Francois Mitterrand appointed him as Budget Minister.

In 1984, he became France’s youngest-ever prime minister, and has remained a Socialist heavyweight, ending his political era as his country’s top diplomat.

He helped push through the nuclear accord with Iran, notably holding out for tough conditions against the Iranians, and he presided over the Paris climate change conference last year, making it a personal mission to negotiate an accord on global warming among fractious and disputing nations.

As Foreign Minister, Fabius presided over some major foreign policy challenges including military interventions, notably in Africa, in Mali to combat Islamic extremists, and in the Central African Republic to curb violent unrest after the country’s longtime-leader was toppled.

However, the French Foreign Minister didn’t leave quietly as he lashed out at Russia and Iran for “complicity” in the “brutality” of President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and criticized the United States for a lack of commitment to resolving the Syrian war.

He also questioned the US’s commitment to resolving the crisis in Syria, saying its “ambiguous” policy was contributing to the problem.

“There are the ambiguities including among the actors of the coalition … I’m not going to repeat what I’ve said before about the main pilot of the coalition,” Laurent Fabius told reporters. “But we don’t have the feeling that there is a very strong commitment that is there.”

“There are words, but actions are different and obviously the Iranians and Russians feel that,” he added.

“When you add Assad’s brutality, Russia and Iran’s complicity and the ambiguity, you get the drama taking place in Aleppo,” Fabius said.