The Ambassador of France in Washington Steps Down

Gérard Araud has been the ambassador of France in the United States since September 2014, and will be retiring on April 19 of this year. His successor has not yet been named.

The ambassador has worked with two American presidents, and celebrated his retirement at a reception at the ambassadorial residence in Washington D.C. on Wednesday evening. Gérard Araud, 66, gave a speech on “the end of a diplomatic career that [he had] enjoyed every day,” his “constant pride in serving France,” and “the beginning of a new life, a new job […], and a new adventure.”

He will be moving to New York after stepping down from his role, and will be looking back over the five years spent in Washington in the May 2019 issue of France-Amérique Magazine. “Shifting from Barack Obama to Donald Trump implied a major challenge given their polarized personalities,” he writes. “However, the underlying reality remains the same. The role of the United States in the world is undergoing a major redefinition. Even if the country only partially withdraws from the world stage and adopts a unilateral approach, this will inevitably impact the international balance of power and therefore the security of France. Withdrawal and nationalism have been my main concerns over the last five years, and I have tried to predict the consequences they will have on France.”

Gérard Araud’s successor has not yet been named. Emmanuel Macron is expected to announce his replacement following the G7 Summit held from August 25 through 27 in Biarritz in Southwest France.

  • Les derniers tweets de Monsieur Araud sur l’Iran, dont le contenu reflète une grave confusion d’esprit découlant d’une dépendance idéologique forcenée, et une insuffisante maîtrise des dossiers complexes, portent dangereusement atteinte au fonctionnement normal de notre appareil diplomatique. Seules les directions compétentes ont vocation à exprimer les orientations de la France. Ils créent un trouble inutile dans une région déjà amplement perturbée et entretiennent des tensions là où plus de raison est nécessaire pour permettre au travail diplomatique de suivre son cours. En utilisant une fois de plus le parapluie de ses fonctions actuelles pour diffuser des positions personnelles qui ne sont pas celles de notre diplomatie, Mr. Araud cause de sérieux dommages à celle-ci que son départ à la retraite ne suffit pas à réparer. Une sérieuse mise au point s’impose.

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