France has received no request for asylum from departing Tunisian leader Zine el Abidine Ben Ali and would consult Tunisia's "constitutional authorities" if it did, the foreign ministry said Friday.
The French ministry made the statement as Ben Ali was thought to be flying somewhere between his homeland -- which he had fled earlier in the day -- and Europe, and amid rumours that he might head for Paris.
"France has received no request to welcome Mr Ben Ali. If such a request was made France would make its response in agreement with the constitutional Tunisian authorities," it said.
France had earlier "taken note" of the change of leadership in Tunisia, where Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced that he had taken over as interim head of state amid violent protests against Ben Ali's.