France continues to support freedom of expression: Nicolas

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Zubair Qureshi

Ambassador of France Nicolas Glaey while speaking at a Meet the Press reception hosted at his residence paid rich tributes to Pakistan’s leading investigative journalist Arshad Sharif who was murdered in Kenya two months ago and reaffirmed his country’s commitment to support ‘freedom of expression’ and freedom of press in Pakistan. The reception was attended by prominent media persons, members of civil society, diplomats and youth representatives. Ambassador Galey wished the Pakistani nation best wishes for the new year 2023 in advance and presented an overview of the outgoing year in which his embassy hosted and participated in a number of events featuring awards for rights activists, France-Pakistan universities exchange programmes, visits of dignitaries from France, bilateral development agreements, etc.

“On November 2, we had the International Day to Combat Impunity for Crimes Committed against Journalists and on Dec 9, we celebrated the anniversary of the adoption of Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Paris,” said the ambassador adding “freedom of expression is an essential component of human rights and I am glad that the Nobel Peace Prize which consecrates promoters of peace and human rights is regularly awarded to journalists.”

The ambassador said a few days ago he had the opportunity to pay tribute to Journalists at a conference celebrating the 10 years of United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity in the presence of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Ambassadors of Denmark and Norway were also present on the occasion, he said. The ambassador underlined that throughout the world France was committed to reaffirming its constant and determined commitment to the freedom of expression. The embassy, he said, would remain at the disposal of the media persons to move forward at its modest level. For the moment, I invite you to toast in honour of your profession and of the friendship between Pakistan and France, he said.

In his words, it was a convivial event and not a press conference, “a friendly moment between the world of the media you represent and the embassy with all its services: the diplomatic chancellery as well as colleagues from the consulate the defence and internal affairs missions the cooperation and cultural action service, the French Development Agency the economic service.” All these services, he said, contributed to the revival of the good relationship between France and Pakistan which is a concrete reality and which is certainly excellent news which many of you have echoed in your media and I thank you for this.