France's new conservative president, Nicolas Sarkozy, was expected to name his Cabinet on Friday.
Sarkozy has promised novelty in his streamlined, 15-member ministerial team - and was not likely to disappoint: Seven appointees would be women, and at least two would be from different political camps, news reports said.
A day earlier, Sarkozy appointed cool-headed confidant Francois Fillon as his prime minister, and the two rang in the appointment with an hour-long jog in a Paris park.
Perhaps the biggest surprise in the new lineup was Bernard Kouchner, a co-founder of the Nobel Prize-winning Doctors Without Borders medical charity - and a popular leftist - who could become foreign minister.
But several Chirac-era veterans met with the new premier Thursday, including Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, Labor Minister Jean-Louis Borloo and former Health Minister Xavier Bertrand.
Former Prime Minister Alain Juppe appeared poised for a remarkable political comeback, billed to lead a newly created Ministry for Sustainable Development to handle environmental issues that Sarkozy says is a priority.
Juppe was convicted in a party financing scandal in 2005 and was barred from holding political office for a year. Sarkozy has said fighting global warming would be one of his priorities.
The popular Borloo would be charged with making good on Sarkozy's bold economic reforms in a ministry devoted to economic strategy, companies and jobs. Alliot-Marie was expected to be in charge of counterterrorism efforts, leading the interior ministry that Sarkozy headed four of the last five years.
"We should use shock therapy to sober up the Americans. In this case, the Americans will speak about the need to resume dialogue. There is no other option"
The United States is concerned about the current crisis in the relations with Russia and suggests returning to reasonable policies to avoid a nuclear war