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24 September 2014
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French Foreign minister gives the 2003 Dimbleby Lecture

Dominique de Villepin calls for Britain and France to shape Europe's future together

Sunday 19 October 2003 at 11.00pm on BBC ONE

Dominique de Villepin, the French Foreign Minister, reveals his vision for the future of relations between the French and British when he delivers the 28th Dimbleby Lecture this Sunday on BBC ONE.

He states that what unites Britain and France is stronger than what divides them and that, "together Britain and France can shape Europe's future."

In a bid to open the strategic Franco-German relationship to Britain, he insists that, "Britain, France and Germany must act together as Europeans" and emphasises that Britain and France agree that, "the multilateral route is the only realistic one."

Villepin stresses that: "there will be no Europe without European defence, and no European defence without Britain" and underlines the importance of the ongoing joint efforts with the UK and Germany to achieve resolution of Iranian proliferation crisis.

In his speech, he also proposes the relaunch of the Middle East peace process by convening a peace conference and deploying an interposition force and calls for the rapid handover of sovereignty to the Iraqi people.

Domique de Villepin is the first Dimbleby lecturer to speak whilst still actively serving in government.

He is a career diplomat who worked up through the ranks of the foreign ministry to be first President Chirac's Chief of Staff and, since May last year, his Foreign Minister.

Not just a diplomat, he regularly runs marathons, sleeps only four hours a night, has published five volumes of poetry and Elle magazine recently stated that, "his beautiful jaw line and eyebrows make television viewers swoon."

Villepin comments: "We French love giving lectures, with the sense of humility and modesty which we share with you."

Dominique de Villepin joins an esteemed list of Dimbleby Lecture speakers from the realms of politics, science, business and the arts.

The distinguished series, in memory of the late broadcaster, Richard Dimbleby, began in 1972 with Lord Annan.

It has featured former United States President Bill Clinton, HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Stella Rimington, Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota and, last year, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, among its contributors.

Notes to Editors

The lecture is available below in PDF format.

You may require Adobe Acrobat Software to read PDF files which can be obtained here.

Dominique de Villepin's lecture in full (46 KB)

2002 Dimbleby Lecture - Dr Rowan Williams (19.12.02)

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