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Washington and New York Exchange French Ambassadors

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The French Ambassador in Washinton D.C., François Delattre, is leaving the United States capital but not the United States. The Council of Ministers appointed him the French Ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday morning, which will bring him to New York.

Delattre will replace Gérard Araud, who will actually make the inverse journey and become the new French Ambassador to the United States. This appointment, however, will not be officially announced until after approved by American authorities. 

Gérard Araud’s departure was announced several months ago but up until now, it was another diplomat who would take his place: Jacques Audibert, former political director at the French Foreign Ministry. Audibert’s appointment as “sherpa” (advisor to the G7 and G8) next to François Hollande, however, has leveled the playing field. 

François Delattre and his wife Sophie Hélias will not move into the luxurious duplex at 740 Park Avenue as the official residence of the French representative of the United Nations. Instead, it was sold by France for 48 million dollars and is currently “under contract” in imminent expectation of the final signature of the transaction. To house the ambassador elsewhere, France is in the process of buying another home, equally luxurious, but distinctly less expensive, since, according to French Morning’s sources, the new apartment on the bank of the East River will cost less than 10 million dollars. 

On the subject of real estate, on arrival in Washington D.C. Gérard Araud will move into temporary residence on Foxhall Road since the traditional and enormous residence on Kalorama Road is currently being renovated. 

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