French President Emmanuel Macron Photograph:( Reuters )
Macron said that France will be 'uncompromising against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination' and added that new measures would be taken for 'equality'
As nations begin to topple statues of controversial figures in the wake of anti-racism protests, French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday said that France would not "take down any of its statues".
"The Republic will not wipe away any trace or any name from its history. It will not forget any of its works. It will not take down any of its statues but lucidly look at our history and our memory together," Macron said, in an address to the nation.
He said this was particularly important in Africa, where French colonial rule in several nations is being observed as a subject of anger for many people.
France and Africa need to collectively find a "present and a future that is possible on both sides of the Mediterranean", Macron said.
In many countries, including the UK, New Zealand, statues that are a symbol of racism, slavery are being taken down after the worldwide protests sparked following the death of George Floyd, an African American in the US.
Anti-racism protests erupted in France too in recent weeks and the demonstrators are also demanding justice for Adama Traore, a black man who died in France in 2016.
Macron said that France will be "uncompromising against racism, anti-Semitism and discrimination" and added that new measures would be taken for "equality".
"It is necessary to unite around Republican patriotism. We are a nation where everyone -- whatever their origin and religion -- can find their place," Macron said.
"Is this true everywhere and for everyone? No."
French President also supported the nation's police force, which is often accused of practicing racism, saying they "deserve public support and the recognition of the nation for their work".