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France to host international summit on Boko Haram

France has offered to host a summit with Nigeria and its neighbours focused on Islamist militant group Boko Haram, President Francois Hollande said.

French President Francois Hollande Credit: Associated Press

"With Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, I have proposed to hold a meeting with the countries bordering Nigeria," Hollande said during a visit to the Azeri capital of Baku.

Global outrage over the Boko Haram's abduction of 200 schoolgirls last month has focused attention on the group, which has destabilised large swathes of northeast Nigeria and its neighbours.

Read: UK team in Nigeria concerned about 'information gaps'

France's Hollande dismisses referendum in east Ukraine

French President Francois Hollande dismissed a referendum on self-rule in east Ukraine, saying the only vote that mattered was a presidential election on May 25.

Separatist rebels went ahead with the vote in defiance of Ukraine's pro-Western government and one announced plans to form their own state bodies and military once results are announced.

Read: Huge queues as east-Ukrainians vote on self-rule

French President warns of 'civil war' in Ukraine

France's President, Francois Hollande, has warned of "chaos and civil war" in Ukraine if the upcoming presidential election is postponed.

Mr Hollande called on western governments to maintain a "simple, single message" to Russia that there will be more sanctions if Moscow tries to stop the election taking place.

France's President, Francois Hollande. Credit: Associated Press

"The whole of Europe and the US must put pressure [on Russia] through sanctions and it's in Russia's interests because they do not want to be seen as the country that is stopping another country, in this case Ukraine, from voting," he said.

Speaking about the election, Mr Hollande said: "If it does not take place that would mean chaos and the risk of civil war".

Hollande's former partner given cabinet position

The former partner of Francois Hollande has been appointed to the French president's new cabinet as environment and energy secretary.

Francois Hollande pictured wit Segolene Royal in 2012. Credit: Reuters

The return of Segolene Royal, who ran for president herself in 2007, comes amid a cabinet reshuffle after heavy losses for the ruling socialists in local elections.

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Hollande promises fresh start to right swinging voters

President Hollande of France sacked his Prime Minister, after a terrible set of results for their socialist party over the weekend. France's far-right National Front party triumphed at the polls, gaining its greatest election success to date.

The party won a number of new seats in wealthy towns across the south of the country.

More: French socialists pasted in polls as far-right make gains

In a televised speech, a humble Hollande promised voters he had heard their vote against his party, and promised to listen and "start a new state."

Europe Editor James Mates reports.

Read: Hollande names Manuel Valls as new prime minister

Hollande names Manuel Valls as new prime minister

French President Francois Hollande has named Interior Minister Manuel Valls as the new prime minister.

Manuel Valls. Credit: Reuters

In a prerecorded televised speech Hollande said Valls would lead a "combative government". Hollande also said it was "time to start a new state" after his Socalist party suffered heavy losses in elections.

Read: Far-right make serious gains in French election

French prime minister reportedly resigns

French President Francois Hollande is to address the nation at 7pm after the country's prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has reportedly offered his resignation after the Socialist party's poor result in the local elections.

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French Parliament channel reporting PM Jean-Marc Ayrault has offered resignation which Pres Hollande has accepted. #France

Hollande may have 'major reshuffle' after poll drubbing

French president Francois Hollande is preparing a "major reshuffle" of his ministerial team after a poor performance from his Socialist Party in local elections

Mr Hollande is set to make a televised statement this afternoon, with his prime minister Jean-Marc Ayrault among those who may lose out.

Francois Rebsamen, a Socialist senator and long-time ally of Mr Hollande, said: "I don't see how there won't be a major reshuffle."

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