france

France’s ambassador to Israel presented data yesterday showing a 45 percent drop in anti-Semitic incidents in his country during 2010. Cristophe Bigot attributed the year-over-year drop to a sharp rise in 2009 in the wake of Operation Cast Lead.

A new poll shows that 81 percent of the French think France’s importance on the international stage is declining. After a widely criticised reaction to uprisings in the Arab world, the survey is the latest bit of bad news for French diplomacy.

After weeks of diplomatic wavering on the tumult in the Arab world, President Nicolas Sarkozy is scrambling to signal to the world that France is back on track, defending core human values and treading with a sure foot in the changed Middle East.

After two years of trying, human rights activist Abdelaziz Dahhassi realized his dream late last year of setting up a think tank to find new ways to fight ethnic and religious discrimination in France.

France’s "Year of Mexico," launched five days ago as a celebration of Mexican arts and culture, so far seems more like the year of clash with Mexico as relations between the two countries grow increasingly strained over the case of a Frenchwoman imprisoned in Mexico.

Whalon says the Christian community of Iraq, which numbered about 1.2 million before the war began, now is down to about 400,000, with many moving out under the threat of death. After the attack in October, the number of people on waiting lists seeking refuge in France swelled to more than 4,000.

Jews in France are exposed to the greatest danger of hate crimes and anti-Semitism, Israeli Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister Yuli Edelstein said, quoting a report on anti-Semitism in 2010.

"Considering not only the spreading of culture and sharing of experience on the development of culture, but also the appreciation of each other's cultural fruits, cultural exchanges between China and France weigh a lot in bilateral relations," a Chinese diplomat told Xinhua in a recent interview.

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