LT. GOVERNOR LANDRIEU MEETS WITH HEADS OF STATE AT QUEBEC CONFERENCE -- 010/20/2008
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 20, 2008
LT. GOVERNOR LANDRIEU MEETS WITH HEADS OF STATE AT QUEBEC CONFERENCE
Louisiana the Only U.S. State Invited to the International Summit
BATON ROUGE, LA - Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu joined 55 heads of state, including French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the 12th Francophonie Summit this weekend in Quebec, Canada to discuss financial, business and cultural ties. Discussions at the summit focused on the continuing worldwide economic crisis and building international cooperation to stabilize financial markets.
"Through Louisiana's French heritage, our state shares a special bond with French-speaking nations across the world," said Lt. Governor Landrieu. "We are uniquely positioned to build economic and cultural ties with our global partners."
Lt. Governor Landrieu met with a number of high-ranking officials while at the summit, including Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Prince Albert of Monaco, President Sarkozy's Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Francophonie Alain Joyandet, President Sarkozy's senior diplomatic advisor Jean-David Levitte, New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham, and Quebec Premier Jean Charest.
"We continue build on Louisiana's long-standing relationship with France and to lay the groundwork for the possibility of an official visit from President Sarkozy to Louisiana," said Lt. Governor Landrieu.
The Francophonie Summit is a biannual gathering of the heads of state and heads of government of French-speaking countries around the world. Although the United States is not a member, the International Organization of the Francophonie recognizes Louisiana as an important French-speaking region in the Americas and a region rich in Cajun, Creole and French heritage. Louisiana was the only U.S. state invited to be a part of the summit and was one of only two delegations not representing an independent country.
The state of Louisiana was invited to join the summit as a special guest to represent its significant French-speaking population - an estimated 200,000 Louisiana citizens speak French. Louisiana's delegation was led by Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu and included Senator Eric Lafleur; Warren Perrin, President of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL); and David Cheramie, Director of CODOFIL.