French PM says France supports Clinton over Trump

2016-10-14 06:53
French prime minister Manuel Valls. (Christophe Ena, AP)

French prime minister Manuel Valls. (Christophe Ena, AP)

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Ottawa — French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Thursday that his country supports the election of Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump in the upcoming US presidential election.

Valls said during a visit to Ottawa that he and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have discussed the US election. Valls didn't share Trudeau's thoughts, but he was categorical about his pick in the November 8 election: Clinton.

Valls, speaking in French, said US President Barack Obama was "elected by the world" and "Trump is rejected by the world".

On the allegations of sexually predatory behaviour swirling around the Republican nominee, a stone-faced Trudeau — a self-avowed feminist — would say only that he "has stood clearly and strongly all my life around issues of sexual harassment".

The two prime ministers were scheduled to travel to Montreal later in the day for discussions with Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard about the Canada-EU free trade deal.

Valls said he expects Trudeau to be in Brussels on October 27 to sign the deal.

Trudeau called the deal a "win-win" for both sides. He also said it's a "progressive agreement that heralds a new approach with regard to defending the rights of governments to legislate on the environment, the rights of workers, [and] the issues that our constituents care about".

Trudeau ended a joint news conference with Valls on a pointed note, saying that in a post-Brexit world, not signing the agreement would send a strong and unsavoury message.

"If Europe cannot manage to sign this agreement, that sends a very clear message not only to Europeans but to the whole world that Europe is choosing a path that is not productive either for its citizens or for the world," he said. "That would be a shame."

Climate change and the Canada-EU free trade deal have been singled out by Trudeau's office as being among Canada's top priorities.

Speaking to reporters at the French Embassy onThursday, Valls also reiterated France's desire to see Canada send peacekeepers to West Africa to join the fight against Islamic militants.

The Trudeau government has said it will commit 600 peacekeepers to UN missions, and France has been pushing Canada to join the UN mission in West Africa.

France has 3 000 troops fighting a separate counter-insurgency mission in several of its former colonised countries, under the banner of Operation Barkhane.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  hillary clinton  |  canada  |  france  |  us  |  us elections 2016

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