President Halimah Yacob and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have written to President of France Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister of France Jean Castex respectively to convey their condolences on the passing of former President of France Valéry Giscard d’Estaing on 2 December 2020.
The text of the letters is appended.
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MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
04 DECEMBER 2020
Letter from President Halimah Yacob to President of France Emmanuel Macron
4 December 2020
His Excellency Emmanuel Macron
I am saddened to learn of the passing of former President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. On behalf of the people of Singapore, I express my deepest condolences to you and the people of France.
The late Mr Giscard d’Estaing was a distinguished statesman of deep convictions. During a public career that spanned almost six decades, Mr Giscard d’Estaing held offices at the local, national and European levels. As President, he pushed for major social and economic reforms in France and left important legacies in the energy and transport sectors. Mr Giscard d’Estaing will also be long remembered as one of the architects of European integration.
My thoughts and heartfelt sympathies are with you, the people of France and the family of Mr Giscard d’Estaing, as you mourn the loss of a national leader.
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Letter from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to Prime Minister of France Jean Castex
4 December 2020
Dear Prime Minister,
On behalf of the Government of Singapore, please accept my heartfelt condolences on the demise of former President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing.
In 1974, Mr Giscard d’Estaing became the youngest French Head of State since Napoleon. He led France through many challenges including the oil crisis, rising unemployment, and inflation. He liberalised the economy and pushed through major social reforms. He also launched the development of the TGV high-speed train network, an icon of French engineering prowess, and reinvigorated the nuclear industry.
Mr Giscard d’Estaing also left his mark in international relations. In 1975, he hosted an informal retreat of leaders at the Chateau de Rambouillet that subsequently evolved into the G7 Summit. He was also a tireless champion of closer European integration during his presidency, and continued to take a keen interest in the European project after his retirement.
Mr Giscard d’Estaing was a good friend of Singapore. He received Singapore’s first Prime Minister Mr Lee Kuan Yew in Paris on a few occasions. I remember his visit to Singapore in 1982, when he masterfully delivered the Third Singapore Lecture on “Peace and East-West Relations” – a topic as relevant then as it is now. I also had the pleasure of meeting him after his retirement. Mr Giscard d’Estaing impressed me with his statesmanship and his knowledge of Asia. He will be remembered as a stalwart leader who dedicated his life to serving his country, and who left a lasting imprint on modern France.
Our thoughts are with his family and the people of France as they mourn the loss of a great statesman.
LEE HSIEN LOONG
His Excellency Mr Jean Castex