On recent days, the French Embassy in Hanoi welcomed numerous delegations from the Vietnamese Government, agencies, organizations, and individuals who came to present a number of medical supplies to the French government and its people to cope with the complicated COVID-19 pandemic.  In a recent interview exclusively given to the People’s Army Newspaper, French ambassador to Vietnam Nicolas Warnery confirmed that Vietnam is one of France’s true friends and the medical supplies are clear evidence of the time-honored friendship and solidarity between the two countries.

The French diplomat further said that the first batch of antibacterial masks sent from the government of Vietnam to the French Embassy strongly demonstrates how Vietnam has actively fought COVID-19 for the sake of not only its people, but also of its partners, including France.

French Ambassador to Vietnam receives 51,000 masks from former Health Minister, Chairman of the Vietnam-France Friendship Association Nguyen Thi Kim Tien. Photo courtesy of the French Embassy in Vietnam.

He highly valued the gift from the highest level of the Vietnamese government, considering it a wonderful example of the long-lasting friendship and long-term cooperation between Vietnam and France.

The French ambassador emphasized that a friend in need is a friend indeed and Vietnam has shown to be a true friend of France.

The diplomat expressed his deep thanks to Vietnam and France-supporters, regardless of their professions, for their medical supplies including a large quantity of antibacterial masks, which are valuable in the anti-COVID-19 combat. He noted that the French Embassy is doing its utmost to ship these medical supplies to France with the support of authorized levels and airlines.

Asked about his opinion on articles run by the French press praising Vietnam’s success in COVID-19 prevention and control as a great victory for Vietnam, the French ambassador said that the French press has been interested in COVID-19 preventive measures taken by foreign countries, including Vietnam. He spoke highly of Vietnam’s effective response to the pandemic and underscored that Vietnam’s key to curbing the disease from spreading widely in the country was its swift and strict response.

He highly appreciated Vietnam’s synergy since the beginning of this global health crisis and its efficient preventive measures taken including school closure. He also lauded the country for tightening supervision over the implementation of such measures to effectively contain the spread of the disease.

Regarding the concern of Vietnamese students who are returning home from France or returning to France this July or August to prepare for the new academic year when the pandemic is still developing complicatedly in France, the diplomat said that due to the pandemic, the schedules of agencies and organizations at all levels in France, including universities, have been adjusted. French tertiary educational establishments have closed since mid-March and are likely to stay closed until the end of the school year this summer. Therefore, returning to school this summer is no longer a matter of urgency. Furthermore, administrative personnel and lecturers in universities continue to work online and schools will continue their training programs with new methods adapted to the complex situation.

The ambassador added that Campus France under the French Embassy is in charge of working with student enrolment procedures. At present, the enrolment of foreign students is still in progress. For admission to public universities, the “Etudes en France” (Studying in France) procedures are required while enrolment applications must be filed directly at private schools with online interviews.

He advised students to visit Campus France in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue and Da Nang, which are still working online to find answers to questions related to this topic.

The French Embassy in Hanoi has received medical supplies from the Government of Vietnam, the Vietnamese Ministry of Public Security, the Vietnam-France Friendship Association, French speaking travel agencies in Hanoi, France alumni, and other France-lovers. The medical equipment including antibacterial masks, goggles, medical gloves, and blouses is expected to be shipped to France this week.

Reported by Linh Oanh

Translated by Mai Huong