Aoun: Presence of Francophone Community in the East is Proof of Interaction with Arab Culture

Aoun: Presence of Francophone Community in the East is Proof of Interaction with Arab Culture

Friday, 12 October, 2018 - 07:45
President Michel Aoun addresses the 17th Francophonie Summit in Yerevan (NNA)
Beirut - Asharq Al-Awsat
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun said on Thursday that Francophone countries aimed to “deepen the dialogue between civilizations and bring people closer to know each other”, as well as making the French language close and beloved by the communities.
 
In a speech delivered at the opening of the 17th Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, Armenia, the president said: “Lebanon, with its pluralistic society and where different sects and religions meet, is a world in miniature.”
 
He continued: “After years of tribulations, we have succeeded in overcoming [divisions] and embracing coexistence… Amid the rise of dark forces based on extremism... and marginalization, the francophone people are required today more than ever to continue to underscore the message of coexistence.”
 
Aoun emphasized “the need to establish international institutions specialized in training and the dissemination of dialogue among civilizations, religions and races, to establish a culture of peace.”
 
“Languages are the link between different cultures and identities. Francophone aims not only at making the French language familiar within communities, but to deepening dialogue between civilizations and bringing people closer together,” he said.
 
He went on to say that the presence of Francophone communities in the East was evidence of the solidarity and interaction with the Arabic language and culture.
 
He also expressed his appreciation and pleasure for the decision taken by the International Organization of the Francophonie to designate Beirut its regional Middle East headquarters. He thanked “all those who contributed to this decision”, promising to “provide all necessary support for the new office to be able to assume its role and functions.”

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