The Ambassador of France to the United States, His Excellency François Delattre, visited BYU Wednesday and spoke to a crowded HBLL auditorium about the strength of U.S. – France relations and the values the two countries share.
“The level of trust, the level of friendship and cooperation in our two countries has never been as high as it is today,” Delattre said.
Delattre attributes the high levels of trust and a strong relationship to the values and vision that both the United States and France share regarding the creation of a multi-partner world.
“The emerging powers must have their place and their say in the new world order,” Delattre said. “The question, and I believe one of the main challenges of our generation, is to know whether we will be able to shape, to organize a multi-partner world in which every player appears comfortable and in which the principle of responsible partnership can prevail over those of competition and rivalry.”
In regard to foreign policy, France has been a strong ally to the United States, specifically regarding the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, establishing and supporting democratic movements in Arab nations and dealing with the increasing danger of a nuclear armed Iran.
As well as being a strong military and foreign support, France has become a booming economic partner for the United States.
More than 4,000 French companies are investing in the U.S., which has aided in the creation of 650,000 jobs. Additionally, the United States has seen a 30 percent increase in the number of investments it has made in France.
Delattre also commented on the history the two countries share, and the support they have rendered each other in the past.
“It is very important to always remember that the values we share are at the core of our partnership,” Delattre said. “It is important to remember that France and the U.S. owe each other their very existence as free nations.”
Delattre spoke of the appreciation the people of France have toward the U.S. for their involvement and aid in restoring freedom in France during both World Wars and mentioned how the largest foreign memorial to honor victims of 9/11 took place at the heart of Paris, in front of the Eiffel Tower.
“In these testing times, the values that we share are more important than ever,” Delattre said. “We consider that they are more than ever our best tools, or best moral compass, to confront together the current challenges we face. “
Delattre was appointed the ambassador of France to the United States in February 2011, after previously serving as ambassador to Canada from 2008-2011.
Those wishing to listen to the ambassador’s comments can view the lecture at kennedy.byu.edu/archive.