French ambassadors message on National day of France

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Every year the union of the French nation is reaffirmed by the celebration of the National Day, commemorating both July 14, 1789, a turning point in the history of the people of France for the conquest of its emancipation and of freedom, and the festival of the Federation in 1790.Each July 14 is a collective expression of unity, with a solemn military parade at Champs-Elysees, but also a festive get-together with popular balls and fireworks.

French ambassador said, I am pleased to share this national celebration with the people of Pakistan, whose generosity, hospitality and dynamism I have witnessed during my travels throughout the country and my daily work in Islamabad.

These two years in Pakistan have also given me the opportunity to appreciate the common values that underlie the friendly relationship between France and Pakistan; both countries defend multilateralism, a balanced globalization and advocate for sustainable human development, respectful of diversity.

It is also about shared interests in security and regional stability, as highlighted by the work of the last France-Pakistan Joint Security Commission held earlier this month in Islamabad. The visit of Senator Allizard and his delegation in last April, the fourth trip for the Senator, was an occasion to discuss the full potential of Pakistan and reciprocally the French availability to continue and increase its contribution to development for the benefit of the greatest number.

These past twelve months have been particularly fertile in terms of concrete achievements, mostly for the direct benefit of the population, in the partnership between our two countries and the French ambition to deepen it. In an area as essential for population like that of access to water and energy, the French Development Agency – AFD – continues to participate actively for green and sustainable development with nearly 700 million euros mobilized in the hydropower sector, urban transports and water (with financing of 94 million euros this year by the AFD for the treatment of Faisalabad’s water).y the visit to Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi in last April of the largest ever delegation of French companies (30); that should be reflected in a progressive diversification of exchanges and increase of investments.

The prosperity of a country depends in particular on the dynamism of its youth, a dynamism conditioned by education and empowerment, favoured by access to culture and ideas. On all these challenges, French expertise is mobilized in Pakistan. In terms of education, our cooperation privileges access to higher education, with several dozens of scholarships this year from the French government to the benefit of young Pakistanis (nearly half of them female students), particularly as part of the ‘Eiffel Excellence’ and ‘Make my Planet great again’ programmes, as well as about 50 co-financed. The increase of these flows, mutually desired, should benefit from the inauguration of an office of Campus France next October in Karachi.

Culture remains a significant link between our two countries, nourished by the programme of our three Alliance Francaise (French cultural centers) in Islamabad, Karachi and Lahore; the latter achieved eleventh position in the world ranking among a network of eight hundred of Alliance Francaise. I am delighted that the Franco-German cooperation in this area is particularly dynamic: the co-location of our cultural institutes and the more than five Franco-German cultural events organized this year show that reconciliation, then friendship and then close partnership are possible between formerly enemy countries.

This year our national holiday is spontaneously associated with the memory of the landing of the Allies in Normandy, thus we celebrate the 75th anniversary and, by extension, that of all the forces which participated in the operations of liberation, included two and a half million of fighters coming from the Subcontinent. On this day of national concord for the French people, I thank you for providing me with this opportunity to address the people of Pakistan and its leaders and also to wish them all the best for success and prosperity, accompanied by a universal message of peace, friendship and confidence in the future.

The writer is the ambassador of France to Pakistan.