French President Emmanuel Macron has warned that the "noble struggle" against discrimination risks being led astray by "communitarianism" and a "hateful, false rewriting of the past".
"I tell you very clearly this evening, my dear compatriots: the Republic will not wipe out any trace or any name from its history. It will forget none of its works. It will overturn no statue," Macron said in a televised address.
France needed to look "lucidly, together, at all our history, all our memory," he argued, in particular its colonial relationship with Africa "to build a possible present and future on both sides of the Mediterranean".
The process demanded "a will to establish the truth but under no circumstances revisiting or denying what we are," he insisted.
Australian Associated Press