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Frail ex-president Chirac in rare public appearance

© France Télévisions

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-11-22

Former French president Jacques Chirac made a rare public appearance during an awards ceremony in Paris on Thursday, showing visible signs of his weakened physical state.

A frail Jacques Chirac, France’s former president, made a rare public appearance on Thursday at an award ceremony in Paris, confirming reports of his physical decline.

The former head of state, barely seen in public since he left office in 2007, appeared at the Quai Branly anthropology museum, where a foundation bearing his name was handing out its annual prize for conflict prevention.

Chirac was applauded as he made a slow entrance into the museum's auditorium, closely flanked by President François Hollande on one side and holding a walking cane in his opposite hand.

During the event Hollande paid tribute to his former political rival Chirac, saying it was a “pleasure” to see him.

In 2011, Jacques Chirac turned heads during an event in the city of Tour by telling the press that he would vote for Hollande in the upcoming presidential elections.

While the comment was made somewhat in jest, it was widely viewed as a slight to fellow UMP party member Nicolas Sarkozy, who was seeking re-election at the time.

Chirac is often remembered for his opposition to the 2003 US-led intervention in Iraq, a position that also won him plaudits from Hollande during Thursday’s ceremony.

Date created : 2013-11-21

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