French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault presented John Kerry with the insignia of Grand Officer of the Legion of Honor at a ceremony in Paris in which he recalled Kerry’s family connections with France and praised his diplomatic endeavors.
Accepting the award, Kerry said he was “humbled” and that it reflected the special relationship between France and the United States, their long history and shared values.
He also spoke about the achievements the two countries had jointly realized during his time as secretary of state, including helping to negotiate a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear ambitions and the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Kerry, whose mother was born in France, said he accepted the award as a reminder of the duty to keep working for their common ideals, shared aspirations and the rule of law.
“We have a lot of work to do in that regard because there are dangerous currents of authoritarian populism, and no part of the world remembers better what happens when difficult economies mix with sectarian exploitation, with nationalism and fear,” he said.
“We really need to be careful going forward and think hard about the choices that we face. … We are pursuing diplomacy because the world needs the values that have been espoused by the United States and France since our inception.”
Source : CNN
Photo by Center for American Progress