France braced for big protests on Monday over China's crackdown on Tibet last month, amid fears that the Olympic torch marathon relay during its Paris run could be disrupted by demonstrators.
Also see: China denounces torch protest
France has deployed more than 3,000 police officers for the 28-km Paris leg of the torch relay, from the Eiffel Tower to the Charlety stadium, on the southern edge of town.
Asked if he hoped there would be a large protest in Paris, Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told LCI television: "Yes. I would like people to be informed. For that to happen, we need to know better what is happening in Tibet."
He added, however: "I do not fear them, I do not want them, but there will be demonstrations, of course."
Former world 400 metres hurdles champion Stephane Diagana will set off first for the torch's Parisian journey.
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Video: ANI | Text: Reuters