March 23, 2017 / 9:33 AM / 5 months ago

French Defence Minister Le Drian to back Macron in presidential election - paper

French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian attends the inauguration of the site of the naval defence company and shipbuilder DCNS in Ollioules, France, February 23, 2017.Jean-Paul Pelissier/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - French defence minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will announce his support for centrist presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron later on Thursday, regional newspaper Ouest-France reported.

The paper said Le Drian, a member of the current Socialist government, would explain his decision at a meeting of the regional Brittany assembly later in the day.

Le Drian is considered as one of the more popular members of President Francois Hollande's cabinet and a respected voice in security matters and foreign affairs, and his support for the 39-year old former economy minister would give Macron more weight in those particular areas.

Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Michel Rose

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