French Ambassador: Armenia is so hospitable and attractive that I do

French Ambassador: Armenia is so hospitable and attractive that I do
not miss France

December 15, 2012 | 10:00

YEREVAN.- Armenian continues a series of interviews with
foreign diplomats working in Armenia. Our second interlocutor is
Ambassador of France to Armenia Henri Reynaud.

Who is your hero in politics? Is there any political figure you would
like to ask for advice?

I would not mention a hero but I admire politicians who had the
courage to reject the inevitability of the events, to change the
course of history, sometimes making decisions against public opinion.
I mean Robert Schuman who extended a hand to Germany in 1950 and only
five years after a war, which destroyed the continent, the foundation
of Europe was laid. I am speaking about Charles de Gaulle, an
architect of the Franco-German truce with Konrad Adenauer. Both of
them (one was 87 years old and the other – 73) refused to continue the
process when the past was destroying the future, and relied on a
mission of the Franco-German Youth Office. I am referring to Anwar
Sadat, who established peace with Israel. I admire the men and women
who have dedicated their lives to the struggle for freedom and
democracy, such as Nelson Mandela, or sacrificed their lives, Jean
Moulin, Misak Manushian, Munich students Hans and Sophie Scholl.

Do you think a diplomat must set a certain goal coming to a new country?

For Ambassador it is important to set goals. The objectives must
materialize through an action plan and get approval of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs. The goals are aimed at improving, expanding and
enriching the relationship between his and other state, contributing,
if necessary, to promotion of the principles of the UN and
international organizations. The diplomacy is set to create a better,
fairer, more friendly and secure world. In case of Armenia it is
implemented with the help of the Eastern Partnership project. However,
relations between France and Armenia are marked by significant meaning
deeply rooted in long history.

What do you think is the most difficult thing about being a diplomat?

Diplomacy is a profession dealing with all the areas and has many
sides. This explains the interest and at the same time difficulty of
the profession. Ambassador must be able to respond to challenges
quickly understanding the problems of a country he is working in. You
must always clearly make difference between important and unimportant,
focus on priorities. Besides, he must properly understand the culture
of the country. It will make his contacts easy and provide an
opportunity to be confident that his steps are perceived in a right

What are you missing being out of France?

In fact, the situation is different depending on the country. However,
to feel good in your new country, you need at least two things:
eagerness to love it and interest to understand it. Armenia is so
hospitable and attractive due to its history, culture and dynamics,
that I personally do not miss France.

What was your first impression about Armenia?

First of all I was surprised to see some similarities: a southern
country, importance given to a family, and the most important –
Armenians’ positive attitude to overcoming the challenges. It can be
labeled as faith in the future contrary to difficulties. The Armenian
people love life because they know its cost.

What would you do if you were not a diplomat?

Being a diplomat, I am quite satisfied with my personal and
professional life. If I were not a diplomat, I would prefer university
professor career, or I would be a journalist or a lawyer.