The terrorist attacks of 13 November in Paris have triggered much emotion in Kabul. As early as the Saturday morning, numerous personalities contacted the Embassy to express their solidarity and a lengthy procession of visitors started, which would last around two weeks.
I cannot take my eyes off of something that so ironically sums up the human tragedy playing out in these places. It’s lying on the ground, motionless, abandoned, covered in mud. It’s a stuffed bear, like all those that are held tightly at night and played with by our children, and provide them comfort when they are upset. It was torn from the arms of its young protector and is lying amid debris in the mud of these last metres of Greek territory before reaching the border with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Today, the Channel Tunnel has made London almost as close as Brussels. For this feat to be possible, a structure with a unique management model had to be created, in which the French Ministry played a key role.
If I’d been told before arriving at the Quai d’Orsay (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development) that I would find myself in the official motorcade of the Chinese President, rolling up the empty Champs-Élysées and tempted to wave like the Queen of England at all the gawkers taking photos of my car, I wouldn’t have believed it.
I’m a German exchange diplomat in France. Three days after assuming my functions at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I was already abroad on a trip to Vienna, and I found myself addressing an internationally audience: “France supports the German initiative...” What had happened?
With their access to political and economic decision-makers, our ambassadors can act as advocates for France’s reputation, presenting arguments to encourage foreign investments in the country and giving a helping hand to our exports. They can also act as lobbyists to obtain the lifting of regulatory measures that are a barrier to trade and limit the market access of our goods and services.