During the visit, Mr Naryshkin met with France’s Foreign and European Affairs Minister Alain Juppe. During the talks, the politicians discussed current issues of bilateral cooperation, including the humanitarian ties, as well as certain international policy matters. Alain Juppe confirmed the French government’s intent to strengthen mutual cooperation as much as possible and to establish ‘the warmest possible bilateral relations’.
During the talks, special attention was given to the upcoming 2012 Russian Language and Literature Season in France and French Language and Literature Season in Russia. Sergei Naryshkin and Alain Juppe are chairmen of the national steering committees for these events.
Sergei Naryshkin also met with Secretary General of the Elysee Palace Xavier Musca to discuss various aspects of bilateral cooperation in the political, economic and humanitarian sectors, as well as dialogue between Russia and the EU.
At the first joint meeting of the steering committee on holding the Russian Language and Literature Season in France and the French Language and Literature Season in Russia, Sergei Naryshkin emphasised the important role of language and literature in Russian-French relations, which for centuries has given momentum to the rapprochement and interpenetration of the national cultures. “Those who study the Russian and French languages today will be in demand, because Russia and France’s strategic partnership is increasing very rapidly”, Mr Naryshkin noted.
The reciprocal seasons will be the aftermaths of the 2010 Year of Russia in France and the Year of France in Russia. The programme for the Year of Russia in France included over 400 events in science, the economy, culture and education.
The programme of the reciprocal seasons shall be approved by the prime ministers of Russia and France in November 2011.