SPECIAL – BASTILLE DAY – 14TH OF JULY French National Day
Taking France-Kuwait strategic partnership to a new level
Bastille Day represents the annual celebration of French national values, summarized in our nation’s motto — Liberty Equality Fraternity. After more than a year of an unprecedented pandemic, this motto seems even more valuable: We have been experiencing every day how our freedom – freedom to travel, to see our family, to work — depends on the solidarity of all and our capacity to face this crisis together. The pandemic has increased inequalities around the world and within our societies.
To face this global challenge and uphold our values, France has been calling for more fraternity, universal access to vaccines and treatments for the poorest countries, support for the most vulnerable economies, especially in Africa, and more aid to women and children as they bear the brunt of this multi-faceted crisis. We were very happy to see Kuwait join the COVAX initiative launched by President Emmanuel Macron, in line with Kuwait’s generous legacy of supporting actively multilateralism.
Despite all the difficulties created by the pandemic, much has been done to strengthen the excellent relationship France and Kuwait enjoy. 2021 marks the anniversary of our 60 years of friendship as France was one of the first countries to recognize the new independent state of Kuwait on August 28, 1961. It also marks the 30th anniversary of the participation of France and its 19,000 troops in the liberation of Kuwait.
This strategic partnership endures and we intend to mark these anniversaries by bringing it to a new level. A strategic dialogue will take place at ministerial level, for the very first time, and will tackle four priorities: Defense and security, as France remains committed to the stability of the region; culture and education, as we work in accompanying Kuwait in its demarche towards the International Organization of Francophonie; trade and investment, as our mutually beneficial business relationship can contribute to the diversification of Kuwait economy; and finally, health, which has become a strategic area for cooperation for both our countries.
Beyond institutions, friendship thrives on people’s bonds. I was so happy to meet — as much as COVID-19 allowed — with the many Kuwaitis, especially among the talented young generation, that want to build ties with my country, already share a passion for French language, culture or fashion, thrived through French universities or visited France many times. We are determined to build these relationships and engage even more widely through our nascent French diwaniya on Clubhouse or the resumption of our cultural activities as soon as it proves possible. You will find in this special issue a brief overview of the French activities in Kuwait. There is more to come, with an ambitious program to celebrate the 60th anniversary and we hope you will join us!
In the meantime, summer is here and I wish you very happy holidays, especially to all the students who graduated successfully in these difficult circumstances. As you know, as the situation in France is now under control, with low number of cases and a vaccination process well underway. We are reopening the country and allowing people to retrieve a sense of normalcy, while remaining very vigilant to ensure the safety of our citizens and visitors.
On the basis of the latest health review, travelers from Kuwait are most welcome to France, provided they are fully vaccinated (two shots, from the four vaccines authorized in the EU) and carry a valid visa and a PCR test. You will be able to enjoy all the pleasures France has to offer, from restaurants and cafés, to museums and attractions such as EuroDisney, to shopping and enjoying our beautiful landscapes. We hope to see you in France very soon!
Wishing you all a happy Bastille Day! Long live the friendship between our two countries!
Anne-Claire Legendre, Ambassador of France to Kuwait
Ambassadrice de France au Koweït