Ex-French President Jacques Chirac dies

Former French President Jacques Chirac is dead, the French news agency, AFP has reported. He was aged 86.

Chirac died this morning ‘surrounded by his family’, his son-in-law Frederic Salat-Baroux said.

His death was also announced in the National Assembly in Paris where a minute’s silence was held.

He was President of France between 1995 and 2007. He was also Prime Minister of France twice, first from 1974 to 1976 and later from 1986 to 1988. He also served as Paris Mayor from 1977 to 1995.

Chirac’s 12 years in the Elysee Palace made him France’s second longest-serving post-war president after his Socialist predecessor Francois Mitterrand.

On the international stage, Chirac will be best remembered for angering the United States with his public opposition to the 2003 war in Iraq.

He was an instinctive conservative but with an appeal that extended beyond the right.

It was his time at the helm of the French capital that resulted, once he had lost his presidential immunity, in a conviction for embezzlement and misuse of public funds.

Chirac had rarely been seen in public in recent years and was long known to have been suffering from ill health.

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