Farewell to the Ambassadors of the EU Delegation, Egypt and Israel
Kathmandu, 22 Aug 2017:
Speech given by Ambassador Yves Carmona at the farewell reception organised at the Résidence of France in honour of the Ambassadors of the EU Delegation, Egypt and Israel.
Namaste, bonsoir, good evening, goedenavond, buena sera, salaam aleikum, shalom
Excellencies, colleagues, dear Mr Ghanashyam Bhandari, head of Europe-America division at the MInistry of Foreign Affairs, dear friends,
When Rika and I decided to host this cocktail, it was dedicated to Rensje and Pino who will move to Dhaka in mid-September when we will be on holidays in France. Then it appeared that other friends too were leaving soon: Yaron and Neichuzonuo and quite suddenly Baher and Malak, who go back to their headquarters. So we are going to say goodbye to them too, in a few words because the best we can offer in the French Residence is better than a speech; it is food and wine and friendly conversations.
Still, I must say from the bottom of my heart that when the EU ambassador is leaving, it is a part of me who leaves as well, since the EU is consubstantial to France. The more so when the EU ambassador is fluent in French, bravo ! And when her husband is an Italian, it doubles as part of me since my family has been Italian for generations.
Rensje, I am sure that others, starting with our Nepali friends, will say better than me what a great job you have done here to support development and reconstruction and to promote human rights and values.
I would add to that how much I admire your sense of diplomacy, your constructive and conciliatory approach to issues, including when they could be contentious, without ever giving up the essential principles which are the base for any valuable European Union action.
These years, especially the last one, the EU has been challenged by many people and populist politicians back home, which naturally has raised questions all over the world, Nepal included, some hoping, more fearing that the EU would not survive.
People like you, Rensje, show that there is a way forward provided you know in which direction you want to go, which we Europeans have in common : openness to the world, tolerance to other cultures but firmness on the principles.
Thank you Rensje, Bangladesh is lucky to welcome you soon!
Yaron, Baher, Israël and Egypt are not members of the EU but partners and close to the European values with the same historical necessity to promote religious tolerance.
In Kathmandu, we also had great opportunities to share common actions, mainly in the area of culture. By a remarkable coincidence, or should I say karma, Egypt and Israël have always been close to my heart as well, since my family was rooted in the former and still is in the latter.
It is part of the charm of Katmandu to mix people from so diverse origins, diplomats of course and also friends from all walks of life. So the years you all have spent here have been all the more rewarding, although you had your share of hardships including the terrible earthquakes in 2015. But you have supported and seen the recovery which is moving on, with the genial contribution of Mr Kulman Ghising who has killed the dragon of loadshedding, hopefully forever !
I really hope our combined efforts will be fruitful on the long term and you have opportunities to come again and watch the progress for the peoples of this country who deserve it so much.
Lieve Rensje, Hèt was een plezier je te léren kènnen èn mèt je samen te wèrken voor een goede Népal-Europése vriendschap. Ik wèns je het allerbèste en ik hoop dat we èlkaar nog éens tégenkomen.
Caro Pino, sono molto felice di averti conosciuto e spero che avremo l’occasione di rivederci presto.
Sorry for not having Hebrew and Arabic versions, Yaron, Neichuzonuo, Baher and Malak. The English version says :
I have been pleased to meet you and to work with you for the good of Nepal. I wish you well and I hope we will meet again.
Namaste, shalom, salaam aleikum, au revoir !