Ambassadors of Germany and France reflect on more than 50 years of friendship at QAU conference
(Islamabad, 24 January 2013)
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the French-German Friendship Treaty, the German Ambassador, Dr Cyrill Nunn, and his French counterpart, Ambassador Philippe Thiébaud, along with Prof. Dr. Muhammad Masoom Yasinzai Vice Chancellor of Qaid-i-Azam University shared their thoughts with students on the reconciliation process of those two European nations. The Seminar was also attended by Pierre Mayaudon, Deputy Head of the European Delegation.
Prof. Dr. Yasinzaï reminded the audience that the Elysee treaty, signed in 1963, remains the cornerstone of French-German cooperation, which is the main engine of the European Union (the two countries represent 33% of the EU population, 36 % of the European Budget, 37 % of the EU GDP, 31 % of the voting rights…).
Germany’s Ambassador Cyrill Nunn highlighted the importance of leadership. General de Gaulle and Chancellor Adenauer had a clear vision for a united Europe and were able to convince the general public of the benefits of good and close relations between France and Germany. Since then, the two countries have learned to compromise in order to achieve progress, in particular with regard to the strengthening of a united Europe.
French Ambassador to Pakistan Philippe Thiebaud focused on the historical context and significance of this treaty which was signed in the wake of the Cold War tensions. In his view the treaty, which defined the organizing principles of the relationship between two century old enemies, was the result of political will and courage on both sides.
The treaty, he underlined, was revolutionary not only because it institutionalized regular meetings between State representatives but also because it recognized the importance of youth, and civil society in general, in building sustainable bridges between two populations. Since 1963, the common projects developed across the border, from a bi-national brigade in the defence sector to joint business success stories such as Airbus, have demonstrated working together was in the interest of all European states.
Attending students had the opportunity to ask the many questions they had about the history of the relationship and its relevance to the South Asian context. Dr Jaspal, Director and Associate Professor School of Politics and International Relations, took this opportunity to advertise the opening of new study programs in his faculty.
Website of the French-German Year: www.france-allemagne.fr
Website of the German Embassy in Pakistan: http://www.pakistan.diplo.de/
Website of the French Embassy in Pakistan: http://www.ambafrance-pk.org/