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Philippine Ambassador to France, Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro, met with members of the French legislature in separate meetings over the course of two days from 3 to 4 June 2014. The series of meetings confirmed the high level of interest on the part of French legislators, from both the Senate and the National Assembly, to enhance Philippines-France relations and to pursue more avenues of cooperation, including through inter-parliamentary exchanges.

The Ambassador called on former French Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on 3 June.   Mr. Ayrault is now a Deputé in the National Assembly representing the Loire-Atlantique department of France. 

In warm and cordial discussions, the two officials recalled the historic visit of the former Prime Minister to the Philippines in October 2012, which was the first made by a French Head of Government since the start of Philippines-France diplomatic relations in 1947. 

During the meeting, Ambassador Lazaro also took the opportunity to personally hand over to Mr. Ayrault a letter signed by President Benigno S. Aquino III expressing the Philippine government’s appreciation for his role in strengthening bilateral ties. 


Ambassador Ma. Theresa P. Lazaro with former French Prime Minister Mr. Jean-Marc Ayrault

Meanwhile at the French Senate, Ambassador Lazaro was welcomed on 4 June at a breakfast meeting with seven Senators present.  Chairman of the France-Southeast Asia Group, Senator Gérard  Miquel, was joined by the Honorable Senators Christiane Kammermann, Simon Sutour, Jean Besson, Jean Claude Frecon, Yvon Collin and Jean Claude Lenoir. 

The Senators welcomed Ambassador Lazaro’s efforts to share information on the dynamism of the Philippine economy, the reconstruction efforts post-typhoon Haiyan, the peace process in Mindanao, and the various high level visits of Philippine officials being undertaken to further advance bilateral relations.  The lively discussions also touched upon regional issues.


Ambassador Lazaro with French Senators and Philippine Embassy officials

Again in the French National Assembly, Ambassador Lazaro also met with Madame Arlette Grosskost, Deputé representing the Haut-Rhin department in the Alsace region of France.  Madame Grosskost is the Chair of the France-Philippines Friendship Group in the National Assembly.  In their meeting, the two officials expressed their mutual commitment to pursue more open and meaningful dialogue between members of the Friendship Group and the Philippine Embassy in Paris.