Francophonie: Emmanuel Macron expected in New Orleans, a symbolic city

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The French president concludes a three-day state visit to the United States on Friday with a visit to New Orleans, a city emblematic of historic Franco-American ties where he will promote the Francophonie.

The day after a lavish reception at the White House which sealed the French president’s “friendship” with his American counterpart, Joe Biden, Emmanuel Macron concludes his three-day state visit to the United States on Friday December 2. by a visit to New Orleans, where he will promote the Francophonie. He must spend less than 24 hours in the city of Louisiana, in the southeast of the country.

In Louisiana, the French heritage is alive and well. © France 24

Once French, “New Orleans” was sold to the United States by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803.

“In New Orleans, in French-speaking land if there is one”, President Macron has indicated that he will announce an “ambitious” initiative: “the ‘French For All’ fund, to support the learning of French everywhere where it is at stake in the United States, from kindergarten to university, especially with disadvantaged audiences who can find in French a multiplier of opportunities”, he declared, Wednesday, in front of the French community in Washington.

He added that he wanted to renovate “the image of French in the United States, which is sometimes perhaps seen as elitist”.

After General de Gaulle in 1960, Emmanuel Macron therefore chose to stop in New Orleans. It should not fail to stroll through the streets of “NoLa” (acronym of the city), probably in the “Vieux Carré”, or “French Quarter”, the very lively historic center of this city, whose population is overwhelmingly Afro-American.

“We have a history in New Orleans and important things to say on the spot which concern both our history and what we want to do for the future,” said the Élysée.

Meeting of actors of cultural life

The Head of State will therefore “celebrate a Franco-American heritage” but also “pay tribute to the resilience of a great American city” bereaved by Hurricane Katrina which had killed more than 1,800 people and billions of dollars. of damage in 2005.

Interviews are thus planned with “companies committed to energy and climate issues”, according to the presidency. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Catherine Colonna, and the Governor of Louisiana, John Edwards, must also sign an agreement on the energy transition in this gas and oil state “extremely proactive” in the matter in the eyes of Paris.

Accompanied by the film director Claude Lelouch and the dancer and choreographer Benjamin Millepied, Emmanuel Macron will also meet actors of cultural life in this city, the cradle of jazz, the day after a gala dinner at the White House hosted by the virtuoso pianist Jon Batiste, from a family of musicians in New Orleans.

With AFP

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