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Ambassador Brings French Voice to Pittsburgh

Ambassador Brings French Voice to Pittsburgh

Published on March 29, 2013
City’s World Affairs Council Highlights French-U.S. Ties in Business, Diplomacy, Military Ops

Washington, D.C., March 29, 2013

Read the full transcript of the Ambassador’s speech and excerpts of the question and answer session

François Delattre, Ambassador of France to the United States, shared remarks on the current state of the French-American relationship during a reception in Pittsburgh on March 28.

Organized by the city’s World Affairs Council, an international relations awareness group, he addressed a broad span of international subjects including bilateral business, diplomacy, and the historical French-American alliance.

Describing the two countries’ economic relations, Amb. Delattre singled out cross-investment as the "backbone" of robust business dealings. "France is one of the top five investors in the United States," he said, with 3,000 French companies operating in the U.S. and supporting more than 600,000 American jobs. What is more, the Ambassador continued, "U.S. foreign direct investment in France has increased 40 percent in the last three years."

In the Pittsburgh region alone, he added, French businesses currently sustain 4,000 jobs.

In global security, the Ambassador called the possibility of a nuclear-armed Iran "the chief threat of our time," as it poses an existential risk to Israel, the broader Middle East, and the world by extension.

In Mali, France is currently conducting Operation Serval, a military engagement aimed at quelling a terrorist rebel advance toward the country’s capital, Bamako. French-American cooperation in the Mali campaign has been evidenced through very positive and crucial joint efforts in logistics and intelligence sharing.

Amb. Delattre reiterated France’s commitment to bringing an end to the bloodshed in Syria, where massive violence has throttled the country since 2011. The Ambassador insisted that "Washington and Paris have been working closely to resolve" the Syria crisis, and "to get rid of Bashar al-Assad, the sooner the better."

Following the luncheon as well as interviews with two local news organizations, the French delegation traveled to the offices of Mylan, a major U.S. pharmaceutical company and the world’s second-largest maker of generic drugs. Mylan also employs a 500-person workforce in France, mostly in the region around the southeastern city of Lyon.

All in all, Amb. Delattre praised the vitality of today’s French-American relations, as well as the universal ideals both nations promote and defend around the world. "The values that France and America share make our relations unique," he said.

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