French Ambassador to participate in inauguration of Airbus site in Mobile, AL [fr]
To celebrate the inauguration of the new Airbus Group assembly line at Brookley Field, the Ambassador of France to the United States, Mr. Gérard Araud, will visit Mobile, AL on September 13-14, accompanied by Consul General Denis Barbet.
The inauguration of the first assembly line of Airbus Group in the United States will be held on September 14 in Mobile in the presence of Ambassador Gérard Araud and Consul General Denis Barbet Barbet, along with representatives from Airbus, elected officials, and the local community.
This highly anticipated event was born with the 2012 announcement by Airbus to invest $600 million dollars to create an assembly line in Mobile for the A320, Airbus Group’s best-selling model. Plane assembly will begin this month, and the first delivery will take place in 2016. Expected annual production will rise to 40 to 50 airplanes a year by 2018. This factory will employ 1,000 workers and should create more than 4,000 indirect jobs.
“We are delighted to celebrate with Airbus Group and the state of Alabama the inauguration of this assembly line that already represents an economic strength for the region. Since Airbus first made its announcement three years ago, the French presence had already increased with the $2 million investment of Safran and most recently the announcement by Hutchinson Corp. to open an aerospace manufacturing center of excellence in Mobile,” said Consul General Barbet. “We hope to celebrate other investments between France and Alabama in the years to come.”
On the occasion of this visit, the Ambassador will attend a VIP reception for Airbus and participate in a guided tour of the assembly line.
This trip marks Ambassador Araud’s first visit to Mobile since taking office last year. Other than Airbus, this region is home to other French companies such as Arkham, Technip, and Safran.
A career diplomat, Gérard Araud was appointed Ambassador of France to the United States in September 2014. He previously held numerous positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, notably including that of Director for Strategic Affairs, Security and Disarmament (2000-2003), Ambassador of France to Israel (2003-2006), Director General for Political Affairs and Security (2006-2009), and, most recently, Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations in New York (2009-2014). Over the course of his career, Mr. Araud has developed specialized knowledge in two key areas: the Middle East and strategic & security issues. As regards the latter, he was the French negotiator on the Iranian nuclear issue from 2003 to 2006. In New York, at the Security Council, he notably contributed to the adoption of resolutions on Libya , Côte d’Ivoire , the Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali and the Central African Republic, and participated in debates on the Syrian and Ukrainian crises.