France wants to be gateway for Pakistan to Europe: French ambassador

ISLAMABAD, Mar 17 (APP): French ambassador to Islamabad Martine Dorance has said France wants to be a gateway for Pakistan to Europe and will welcome more students for receiving higher education in the French universities.
“We will welcome more students from Pakistan in our country. We want to be a gateway to Europe for Pakistan,” said the ambassador in her brief remarks at a reception she hosted on the occasion of French Higher Education Week and to celebrate Francophonie Day here on late Thursday.
The ambassador said a 20 member delegation of French universities was already here who visited higher seats of learning in the Federal Capital as well as in Karachi and Lahore.
The basic objective of their visit was to foster relations with Pakistani universities and further strengthen cooperation between Paris and Islamabad in academic and scientific fields, she added.
Among the universities visiting Pakistan this week were some of the most important French institutions, as the Conference des Grandes Ecoles, Agreenium, Centrale Nantes, ENSA Nantes, INSA Lyon, Paris Sorbonne, Sorbonne Abu Dhabi. This large presence of 20 institutions reflects the real interest of French scholars to build more bridges with Pakistan.
All were enthusiastic regarding future cooperation; they greatly appreciated discovering
Francophonie Day is one of the biggest linguistic events celebrated since long by 900 million people across the world hence there were many good reasons to learn French, said the ambassador.
The Chairman of the Higher Education (HEC) Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed on the occasion told APP that the visit of the representatives of French universities would help strengthen academic cooperation between the two countries. It would provide both sides an opportunity to discuss various issues regarding higher education, he said.
He said, of the 705 Pakistani students sent to France on scholarships for higher education, 400 students have already completed PhDs from many French universities.
The two countries were also cooperating in the field of Culture and Pakistan would hold an exhibition in France in August next year where it would display pieces of archeology, said Dr. Mukhtar.
The reception besides others was attended by diplomats from
different countries and representatives of the French universities
visiting Pakistan to explore new avenues of cooperation in the field of higher education between the two countries.