French Foreign Minister Visits Chicago and Washington
Laurent Fabius, France’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, was in Chicago and Washington, D.C., from May 11 through 13 for bilateral engagements with some of the most prominent political, business, and educational leaders in the United States.
Traveling first to Chicago, Mr. Fabius met Robert Zimmer, President of the University of Chicago, bestowed the Legion of Honor to Dr. Robert Morrissey, a professor of French literature at the same school.
On Monday, May 12, Mr. Fabius met with American leaders of the Chicago business and investment industries at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs. A meeting was arranged with Pat Quinn, Governor of Illinois.
Minister Fabius then visited the Art Institute of Chicago, where restored paintings by French masters were presented.
The French company Valéo provided a demonstration of their automated valet parking system. The event took place as part of French Innovation Week Chicago.
In Washington D.C., Mr. Fabius addressed the American Jewish Committee as a key note speaker at their Global Forum on Monday evening.
On Tuesday, May 13, the Minister met John Kerry, U.S. Secretary of State, at the Department of State. The meeting focused on matters of shared concern to France and the United States, including the crises in Ukraine, Syria and Africa, the Iranian nuclear program and the issue of climate change.
The Minister concluded his visit to the United States with public remarks at the Brookings Institution in an event titled "France in an Age of Geopolitical Upheaval."
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Press Conference at the Embassy of France (excerpts)
Monday, May 12, 2014
Washington, May 13, 2014
The United States and France express their support for the Transatlantic Friendship and Mobility Initiative promoting increased student and junior researcher mobility and exchanges. This initiative aims to double the number of U.S students going to France and the number of French students coming to the United States by 2025, and is endorsed by the Association of American Universities, the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities, the Institute of International Education, and NAFSA: Association of International Educators.
The United States and France believe student mobility contributes to our strong alliance and is essential to expanding global knowledge and economic growth. This initiative is underpinned by our two countries’ shared vision of academic independence and freedom. It will promote access to study abroad for diverse student populations, foster increased research collaboration between French and American institutions of high education and research, and encourage bilateral and multilateral partnerships to support student and faculty mobility.
The historic friendship between France and the United States is rooted in our shared values of freedom, democracy, human rights, the protection of the environment, and responsible development. By capitalizing on the talent, innovation and research capacity of France and the United States through the Friendship initiative, we reaffirm our common commitment to increased economic growth, employment, and global competitiveness.
Mr. Laurent Fabius’s visit to Chicago (May 12, 2014)
Mr. Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development, was in Chicago, the United States’ third largest city, to promote the economic attractiveness of France and exchanges in the areas of trade, culture and tourism.
Mr. Laurent Fabius attended a demonstration of Valeo’s smartphone-controlled parking assistance system and met with representatives from the French and American business community.
This visit falls within the framework of the first edition of French Innovation Week, organized by the Consulate General of France in Chicago in partnership with the French-American Chamber of Commerce and featuring various events highlighting in particular:
French design and gastronomic expertise, with stands at the “French Market,” the largest covered market in the American Midwest;
innovation, with a presentation on “groundbreaking technology in the automotive industry”;
the quality of education and scientific research, on the occasion of the “French-American Science Festival,” featuring high-level conferences on climate change and the Higgs boson, as well as a Science Day for young people from schools throughout the city;
the cultural and tourism appeal of France, for which the Chicago Art Institute is an excellent showcase.