I am taking office at exceptional time: France’s new ambassador to India
New Delhi: France’s new Ambassador-designate to India Thierry Mathou on Monday said that he is taking office at an “exceptional time.” He called it a moment that has been chosen to look towards the future by setting the course of ties between the two nations for the next 25 years.
In his arrival message, Mathou said, “I am taking office at an exceptional time. This year is not only an opportunity to celebrate the length and depth of the relationship between our two nations. It is also the moment that has been chosen to look towards the future by setting the course of our partnership for the next 25 years up to 2047 which will celebrate the centenary of India’s independence and of the diplomatic relations between France and India.”
The French envoy said that his role is now to implement the roadmap adopted by the leaders of both nations. He noted that the roadmap is structured around three pillars. His remarks come after Emmanuel Lenain bid farewell to India after his four-year tenure as French Ambassador to India ended in the country.
While sharing the arrival message, the French Embassy in India on X posted, “Today, the Embassy welcomes the new ambassador-designate of France to India, Mr Thierry Mathou. Read his message on the significance of the strategic partnership and his ambition for taking it forward across all areas:”
“My role is now to implement with determination and ambition for our partnership the roadmap adopted by our leaders which is structured around three pillars: 1- a partnership for security and sovereignty which has a particular meaning, France and India being two major stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific region; 2- a partnership for the planet and global issues which is essential to meet the challenges of climate change; 3- and a partnership for the people,” he said.
Calling the roadmap “very concrete,” he said that it is intended to translate into numerous programs and projects that will have an impact on daily life, like training new generations of Indian students in France, creating tens of thousands of new jobs in India, bringing together scientists and engineers to advance research and technology in all fields and create new bridges between cultures of India and France which have a universal vocation, work together to improve global health and preserve nature on land and in the oceans, where he noted “India has so much to offer to the world” and contribute to peace, security and development in the region.”
Thierry Mathou called the partnership between India and France “strategic” and said that he is looking forward to working with Indian authorities and civil authorities to translate the vision of the two leaders into action.
“I look forward to working with Indian authorities and civil society to translate the vision of our leaders into action and further promote our shared values of liberty, equality and democracy,” he said.
“Our partnership is strategic. I also like to describe it as universal as it goes from the sea to the space! I am thrilled to embark on this journey with all of you,” he added.
Mathou said that he is “happy and proud” to be in India and recalled his previous visits to the country. He stated Jules Michelet, a French historian, described India as “the matrix of the world” and it is exactly how he feels about the country.
He said that the G20 Summit hosted under India’s Presidency gave an opportunity to French President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to assess and review the progress in bilateral relations since the latter’s visit to Paris in July to attend the French National Day celebrations.
“As I just arrived in New Delhi from Bangkok to take my new assignment as Ambassador of France to India, I want to tell you how happy and proud I am to be in India, a country I have been visiting so many times since my first trip here more than forty years ago, a country once described by Jules Michelet, a famous French historian from the 19th Century as “the matrix of the world,” he said.
“It is exactly how I feel about India and why it was so obvious for France to embrace the concept of “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – One Earth, One Family, One Future- proposed by India as the outlook of the recent G20 Summit,” he added.
Last week, France’s then-Ambassador to India Emmanuel Lenain thanked New Delhi, terming the country’s energy, optimism, and confidence in the friendship between the two nations as “invaluable.” He said India and its people have taught him so much and he will cherish his experience of serving in India for the past four years.
Lenain made the remarks in a video posted on X. In the video, he shared glimpses of his tenure in India, noting that the two nations have made progress in the Indo-Pacific. Lenain said in the video, “To all of you who have followed me during these 4 years as Ambassador of France to India: thank you. Your energy, optimism and confidence in the friendship has been invaluable. India and its people have taught me so much – I will always cherish this experience.”
“Dear Friends, Au Revoir, Today, I am leaving India after four wonderful years in your country. And I wanted to say thank you from the bottom of my heart. You have been following me, you have been sharing ideas, your energy, your optimism. It’s been a great help. And our two countries have achieved new progress. Made progress in the Indo-Pacific, we have been steering through during the pandemic of COVID and we all know the suffering for our two peoples,” he added.
He recalled PM Modi’s visit to France to attend the Bastille Day Parade and also spoke about French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to India to attend the G20 Summit. He stated that there were “very good exchanges” between PM Modi and President Macron.