French Defence Minister pays tribute to soldiers killed in Mali helicopter collision | AFP

French Defence Minister Florence Parly pays tribute to the 13 soldiers killed in Mali in a helicopter crash. The collision between two helicopters during an operation against insurgents in the country’s restive north is the French military’s heaviest single loss in nearly four decades. SOUNDBITE

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French foreign, defence ministers meet Russian counterparts in Moscow | AFP

French Defence Minister Florence Parly and French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian meet their Russian counterparts in Moscow. France and Russia have not held a ‘2+2’ format meeting, dedicated to security issues, since the Ukraine crisis of 2014. Macron met with Putin in France last month and has called for a renewed push to resolve the five-year conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Macron announced the summit — which would involve the leaders of France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine — after his meeting with Putin but no date has been set. IMAGES

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France hands over 1400 assault rifles to C.Africa

France hands over 1,400 assault rifles to the Central African armed forces (Faca), thus reaffirming, in the face of Russia’s growing influence, its support for the conflict-torn country. French Defence Minister Florence Parly oversaw the handover at a ceremony at M’Polo military base in the capital Bangui. IMAGES