Visit of the Ambassador of France [fr]
The Ambassador of France to the United-States, Mr. Gérard Araud came to South-Florida on December 6 and 7, 2017.
During this two-day visit, Mr. Araud met many representatives of the French community, including entrepreneurs, representatives of economic organizations, and members of the educative and associative sectors. The Ambassador also exchanged with French General Thierry Ducret, who leads the French Detachment at the US Central Command, and the Honorary Consuls of Orlando and Tampa, Ms. Brigitte Dagot, and Mr. Jean-Charles Faust.
During a meeting with the elected representatives of the French community Mr. Franck Bondrille, Mr. Jacques Brion, and Mr. Xavier Capdevielle, Mr. Araud took stock, in particular, on issues pertaining to education. Mr. Araud also discussed this topic with the directors of several schools offering French programs and representatives of parents associations.
During his speech to representatives of the French community, the Ambassador evoked consular activities, that were marked in the last few months by a very active hurricane season. He also stressed the depth and the intensity of the French-American relationship and the importance of the bilateral cooperation in many different fields, from economic relations to security.
He invited the French established in the United States to promote the reforms underway in our country and to advertise its attractiveness: "France is back", stated the Ambassador.
In the Miami Design District, the Ambassador of France unveiled an exhibition on French Design, which will be on display until January 14, 2018. Thanks to the Institut Français and the VIA initiative (Valorization of Innovation in Furnishing), the exhibition highlights the best of French Design by showcasing 40 masterpieces of the 21st century in a poetic sceno-graphy signed by fashion designer Jean-Charles de Castelbajac. During the event, Mr. Gérard Araud met Mr. Craig Robins, President and CEO of Dacra Development and Design District Miami, and Mr. Jean-Paul Bath, CEO of VIA. The Ambassador also visited Design Miami with Ms. Jen Roberts, CEO of the fair, where the French Design, this year again, had a strong presence.
The Ambassador had a meeting with the newly elected Mayor of Miami, Mr. Francis Suarez, who presented him with the priorities of his mandate. Mr. Araud highlighted the importance and the dynamism of the French community in Miami, and mentionned to the Mayor, among other projects, the ambitious festival of Caribbean contemporary arts organized by the Cultural Services of the Embassy in March 2018.
This visit allowed the Ambassador to meet with several Floridian business leaders who enjoy a close connection with our country. This stay also allowed him to thank a great friend of France, Mr. Laurans Mendelson, who is President of Heico Corp., a company specializing in high-technology in aerospace, telecommunications, and medical electronics, that operates several sites in France.
For his contribution to the French-American partnership, Mr. Mendelson has been appointed "Knight" of the Legion of Honor, in the presence of his family members and friends.