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Charles III visit to France postponed over protests –French presidency

PARIS, France - A planned visit to France from Sunday by King Charles III has been postponed due to ongoing protests over pension reform, the French presidency announced.

"Given the announcement yesterday of another national day of protests against pension reform on Tuesday March 28, the visit of Charles III, initially scheduled from 26-28 March, has been postponed," a statement said.

Charles was due to arrive with Queen Consort Camilla on Sunday evening before spending a day in Paris on Monday and traveling to Bordeaux in the southwest on Tuesday.

The trip was due to be his first foreign tour as sovereign since ascending to the throne last September.

After France Charles was expected to travel to Germany on Wednesday.

The French presidency said the decision was made after a call between President Emmanuel Macron and the king on Friday morning.

The decision was "in order to be able to welcome His Majesty King III in conditions which reflect our friendly relations."

"This state visit will be reorganized as soon as possible," the statement added.

A total of 457 people were arrested and 441 security forces injured on Thursday during nationwide protests against the pensions reform in a major escalation of the unrest.

Trade unions announced another round of strikes for Tuesday when Charles and Camilla were due in Bordeaux, with their provisional schedule including a trip to city hall.

The entrance to the public building was set on fire on Thursday. — Agence France-Presse