We'll Always Have Paris

A Conversation With Ambassador Gérard Araud

Gérard Araud

  • Country: France
  • Title: Ambassador

“France is our oldest ally,” U.S. President Barack Obama reminded Americans on November 13, after ISIS terrorists launched coordinated attacks in Paris, killing 130. Indeed, the French sent an ambassador to the breakaway colony back in 1778, and Benjamin Franklin arrived in Paris the next year, establishing the United States’ first foreign mission. Gérard Araud, a career diplomat who began as a Middle East specialist, has served as French ambassador to the United States since September 2014; before that, he led France’s permanent mission to the UN. Araud spoke with Foreign Affairs deputy managing editor Stuart Reid at the French embassy in Washington, D.C., on December 16, 2015.

The attacks on Paris were disturbing not just because of the loss of life but also because they struck a city that symbolizes openness. Have the attackers succeeded in jeopardizing the liberal values that Paris represents?

The answer is no. But after such a

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