November 27, 2008 / 12:05 PM / 10 years ago

Carla Bruni to take up role at AIDS fund

French First lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy arrives at the Douaumont memorial near Verdun, eastern France, November 11, 2008 during ceremonies commemorating the end of WWI. REUTERS/Gerard Cerles/Pool

PARIS (Reuters Life!) - French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy will take up a role in the global campaign against AIDS, the president’s office said on Thursday, marking a new departure for the model-turned-popstar.

Bruni-Sarkozy married President Nicolas Sarkozy in February, less than three months after they met, in a whirlwind romance that generated a blaze of publicity in France and abroad.

She has since released a new pop album, which she had started working on before she met Sarkozy. But she said she wanted to dedicate herself to humanitarian work.

The Elysee, the presidential palace, said in a statement that the first lady would work with the Geneva-based Global Fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.

She will give more details about her new work at a joint press conference with Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Fund, on Monday, which is World AIDS Day.

The weekly magazine L’Express reported that Bruni-Sarkozy would become a “world ambassador” for the protection of mothers and children from AIDS.

The Global Fund is an international public/private financing institution. It says on its website it has committed $14.9 billion in 140 countries to fight AIDS, TB and malaria.

Reporting by Yann Le Guernigou, writing by Estelle Shirbon

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