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Former French president Jacques Chirac dies aged 86

Mr Chirac was president of France from 1995-2007

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Jacques Chirac (Michael Stephens/PA)

Jacques Chirac (Michael Stephens/PA)

Jacques Chirac (Michael Stephens/PA)

Jacques Chirac, a two-term French president who was the first leader to acknowledge France's role in the Holocaust and defiantly opposed the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, has died at the age of 86.

Mr Chirac died "peacefully, among his loved ones", his son-in-law Frederic Salat-Baroux said.

He did not give a cause of death, though Mr Chirac had had repeated health problems since leaving office in 2007.

Mr Chirac was long the standard-bearer of France's conservative right, and mayor of Paris for nearly two decades.

He was nicknamed Le Bulldozer early in his career for his determination and ambition.

As president from 1995-2007, he was a consummate global diplomat but failed to reform the economy or defuse tensions between police and minority youths that exploded into riots across France in 2005.

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