Discours du Consul général à l’inauguration de l’IFPO
Mr Consul General of Great Britain, Dear Vincent,
Cher François Burgat,
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Friends,
It is a great pleasure for me to come back here today at the Kenyon Institute for the opening of the offices of the Palestinian branch of the Institut français du Proche-Orient, here in East Jerusalem.
I am very grateful to François Burgat and Marc Griesheimer to have joined us for the occasion and of course to you, Vincent, to lend your blessing to this partnership. It is another example of the close cooperation and friendship that we enjoy.
This event is important for France as it highlights two priorities of French diplomacy in Palestine : first, the strengthening of our ties with Palestinian institutions, researchers, universities and civil society ; and, secondly, the building of stronger partnerships with our European colleagues who work here.
Which is why we highly value this new association with our British friends of the Kenyon Institute and of the Council for British Research in the Levant, an association that we are very proud of and that we hope, I should say we trust, will lead to the establishment of joint scientific projects, seminars and related activities in the future.
Since its establishment in the Palestinian Territories, a year and a half ago, the Institut français du Proche-Orient’s activities have grown steadily and it now numbers three permanent researchers, based in Jerusalem, covering the fields of archaeology and political science.
But its roots in the region are much older, as IFPO has, under one name or another, a story going back 90 years. It is now the largest of French research institutes abroad, with branches in five countries and more than 30 full-time researchers, three of whom, as I said, are now based in Palestine.
Locally, the Institut français du Proche-Orient’s achievements have already been successful ; it has facilitated numerous visits of French researchers and has organized international conferences with various academic partners, the latest event being a conference on the political economy of Palestine, held at Hebron University, which was considered a success by all participants. I was there and I can testify.
I am confident that such activities will continue and grow in importance, and that the Institut will soon be identified as a valuable partner and actor on the Palestinian research scene.
While being always respectful of the independence of research activities, the French Consulate General will continue to support the Institut français du Proche-Orient and the strengthening of research networks between French, Palestinian and international actors, inside Palestine as well as at the international level, and we look forward, of course, to working towards this goal together with our Palestinian and British friends.
To conclude, let me simply say that I wish long life to the Institut français du Proche-Orient in Jerusalem, and may it establish strong and long-lasting partnerships with the Kenyon Institute and its numerous Palestinian partners, whether in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus, Hebron and of course in Gaza.
I thank you.