The annual Bastille Day parade in Paris has been celebrated in hot sunshine – with troops from Mali and 12 other African countries marching along with the French military down the Champs Elysées.
The Malian presence was in recognition of the joint effort with French forces to oust Islamist extremists who had taken over the north of the country and were threatening the capital.
The French President François Hollande was joined by Mali’s interim President Dioncounda Traoré, the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Ivo Josipovic, the President of Croatia which has just joined the European Union.
Despite the splendour of the occasion celebrating the start of the French revolution, this year’s parade was a slimmed-down affair, with savings of up to 15 per cent compared to last year.
The military governor of Paris, General Hervé Charpentier, said at a news conference that “like all our citizens, we are taking care over our spending”.