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THE INTERVIEW

An interview with a French or international personality from the world of economics, politics, culture or diplomacy. Every Wednesday at 4.45 pm Paris time and Saturday at 7.45 am.

Latest update : 2017-05-11

French ambassador to US discusses Trump, Macron presidencies

With President-elect Emmanuel Macron poised to take power on Sunday in Paris, French Ambassador to the US Gérard Araud, who served as diplomatic advisor to the candidate, sat down with FRANCE 24’s Philip Crowther in Washington.

Araud discusses his open criticism of Marine Le Pen in the run-up to the election. "I have been a diplomat for 35 years, so I do know that a diplomat, a French civil servant, is not supposed to get involved in a French political campaign," Araud, an active Twitter user, tells Crowther.

"But this time was quite different because Madame [Marine] Le Pen has said that France should get out of the European Union, out of the euro, so it is not [just] any policy," Araud argues. "It was something which was in a sense changing all the French foreign policy… which has been implemented for 70 years by all the governments. So I felt constrained by my conscience."

Araud discusses his relief at the election’s result, but he says the concerns that surfaced with France’s "populist outburst" now needs to be addressed. The career diplomat also parses the similarities and differences between recent elections in the US and France, and discusses the first phone call between President Donald Trump and his counterpart-elect Macron.

"Usually, in these phone calls, it is only congratulations and friendship, but President Macron raised only one issue and it was precisely climate change, to say that it was very important for us that the US remain in the framework of the Paris Agreement," Araud says.

By Philip CROWTHER

Archives

2017-07-25 Americas

'Maduro's regime is a criminal dictatorship'

Venezuelan opposition figure Maria Corina Machado tells FRANCE 24 that the next few days will be decisive in the crisis engulfing her country. She says the opposition is calling...

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2017-07-21 Iran

Iran open to dialogue with Saudis, says top diplomat

Kamal Kharrazi, the head of Iran's Strategic Council on Foreign Relations and a foreign policy adviser to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told FRANCE 24 on Friday that Iran was open to...

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2017-07-19 Europe

'Looking for Lenin': The search for fallen Soviet statues in Ukraine

For decades of Soviet empire, statues of founding father Vladimir Lenin presided triumphantly over city squares and parks. When the USSR collapsed in 1990, thousands of Lenin...

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2017-07-18 Recep Tayyip Erdogan

Exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen: 'I'm not worried about extradition to Turkey'

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24, Fethullah Gulen - who is accused by Ankara of masterminding the July 2016 coup bid in Turkey - admits meeting a key figure in the failed...

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2017-07-08 Asia-pacific

Songlines through opera: The tales of Australia's indigenous communities

Annette Young meets Australian Aboriginal opera singer, Deborah Cheetham, who is a member of the "Stolen Generation." For nearly 100 years up until the 1970s, thousands of...

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