French FM salutes Mandela, 'a charismatic giant'

French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius attends a news conference in Paris after a meeting of Foreign Affairs ministers of African nations as part of the Elysee Summit for Peace and Security in Africa, Dec 5, 2013. Mr Fabius on Thursday paid h
French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius attends a news conference in Paris after a meeting of Foreign Affairs ministers of African nations as part of the Elysee Summit for Peace and Security in Africa, Dec 5, 2013. Mr Fabius on Thursday paid his respects to Mr Nelson Mandela, "a charismatic giant", who died on Thursday aged 95. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

PARIS (AFP) - French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius on Thursday paid his respects to Mr Nelson Mandela, "a charismatic giant", who died on Thursday aged 95.

"With Nelson Mandela, the father of South Africa has died, the driving force for freedom and for reconciliation," Mr Fabius said in a statement.