France's new foreign minister is going to join talks on Syria at a conference in southern Germany on Saturday.

Jean-Marc Ayrault, who was prime minister from 2012 to 2014, on Friday formally replaced Laurent Fabius, who leaves the government to head the Constitutional court.

Ayrault is expected Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, two days after diplomats agreed to work toward a temporary "cessation of hostilities" in Syria's civil war.

The Munich outcome is "encouraging," Ayrault said in a first speech in his new position. "Yet we will pay close attention to what will actually be done, as always. We will judge (the parties) by their actions".