Fabius will not stay on as U.N. climate talks chair

by Reuters
Monday, 15 February 2016 21:37 GMT

Former French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius arrives for a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Feb. 1, 2016. REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer

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Former French foreign minister who helped broker landmark climate change deal left government last week

PARIS, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Former French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Monday he had decided to leave his position as chair of U.N. climate talks after helping broker a landmark climate change agreement in December.

Fabius, who was initially to stay on until late 2016 as president of the negotiations to implement the agreements, told President Francois Hollande of his decision in a Feb. 15 letter seen by Reuters.

Fabius, 69, left the government last week after being picked by Hollande to head the country's top constitutional court.

He said in the letter he took the decision to avoid "the start of a controversy" about holding the two positions.

Presidents of U.N. climate negotiations are chosen for a year. Fabius' term had been due to run until November when Morocco will host the next annual meeting in Marrakesh.

Fabius did not suggest a successor. Among possible candidates, Jean-Marc Ayrault took over as foreign minister last week in a reshuffle and Ecology Minister Segolene Royal has closely followed the U.N. negotiations.

(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Alison Williams)

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