French ambassador holds press conference
KUWAIT CITY, Oct 29: The Ambassador of France to Kuwait, HE Marie Masdupuy, affirmed the close ties shared between the countries and praised the continuous, easy and enriching dialogue enjoyed by French authorities and their Kuwaiti counterparts, who she described as seeing eye-to-eye on a majority of regional and international issues.
Speaking to the press at the French residence, Ambassador Masdupuy, who completes ten months of her tenure in Kuwait, shed light on many aspects of the bilateral relations between France and Kuwait. She described the ties between the two countries as being of high-quality, close, full of trust and confidence with regular exchanges and meetings conducted in Kuwait City or Paris.
She pointed out that the two countries were engaged in political consultations at the level of foreign ministries with the next one taking place in early 2019 in Paris. She also highlighted that parliamentary exchanges and visits were resumed between the two countries with a Kuwaiti delegation of parliamentarians having visited the French Senate and the French National Assembly in June led by the Head of the Legislative Committee. She shared that the visit included a dense programme for the attendees but provided good results. She informed that a visit from the Kuwait Friendship Group from the French National Assembly is expected in early December and that France is also preparing for the visit of the Kuwait National Assembly Speaker, Marzouq Al-Ghanim, in 2019.
In the defense and security field, she shared that the ‘Pearl of the West’ joint military exercises will be held between Nov 17-30 this year. The military exercise that exemplifies their cooperation and coordination in the defense sector takes place every four years with Kuwaiti and French military personnel and equipment. Furthermore, France’s Minister of Defense, Florence Parly, is expected to visit Kuwait this December.
Commenting on the thriving economic relationship between Kuwait and France, she stated that the bilateral trade is expected to reach over $1billion in 2018 with a large spectrum of exchanges of products on both sides and shared that France is among the top European countries to enjoy Kuwaiti foreign investment. Kuwait’s investment in France has been steadily rising over the years and while the bulk of it has been in the real estate sector she stated that it is becoming more diversified in recent years.
She also shed light on the bilateral cooperation present in other areas such as in the judicial arena where exchanges and trainings will be conducted between the French National School for Judiciary in Bordeaux and the Kuwaiti Institute for Judicial and Legal Studies which falls under the umbrella of the Ministry of Justice. In the area of health, she informed that the Dasman Diabetes Institute (DDI) had signed a memorandum of understanding with the French SanofiAventis Groupe to enter into two collaborative projects. Of these, the “Kids Program” aims to raise awareness of diabetes and the benefits of healthy diets and physical activities among school-age children, and “Good Clinical Practices Training” is geared towards improving the local clinical research capabilities through training, clinical trials and research, thereby improving the quality of life of people with diabetes.
In the field of education, she stressed that efforts were being made to increase the number of French institutions accredited by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Higher Education, provide language learning opportunities for interested Kuwaiti students as well as the growing network of institutions in France whose medium of instruction is English.
She also praised the Kuwaiti women MPs for being committed and doing a commendable job with their portfolios and was pleased to see that Kuwaiti women enjoy freedom of expression and are deeply engaged in professional areas to the point that a lot of many other women from the region envy them.
By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff