US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday sent belated condolences to France after the departure of former president Jacques Chirac, who passed away a week.
“Having committed his entire life to public service, former President Chirac worked tirelessly to maintain the ideals and values we share with France,” Pompeo stated in an announcement.
He remembered how Chirac explained the US, where he had researched and worked in the 1950s, as”a nation that I love, I respect, that I admire, I know rather well.” “We remember that President Chirac was the first head of state to go to the United States following the horrible attacks of September 11, 2001,” Pompeo explained.
“The United States and France have stood side-by-side to encourage democracy and peace around the planet, a lasting relationship which continues today.”
France’s refusal to take part in that war resulted in tension between Paris and Washington that lasted for many decades.
Pompeo announced that the US administration’s first following Chirac, who had been in office from 1995 to 2007, died on Thursday in 86 years old.
Former president Bill Clinton, Bush’s immediate predecessor, praised Chirac as an “a daring, proficient statesman” after his passing.
The White House said on Sunday which ambassador to France Jamie McCourt will represent the US in a memorial ceremony set for Monday.
About 30 heads of state, such as Russian leader Vladimir Putin, are anticipated in Paris for the service.