Gérard Araud, the ambassador not always very diplomatic

Caroline Tompkins for M The World Magazine


Posted on 20 September 2019 at 14h44 – Updated 20 September 2019 at 15h21

At the scale of Manhattan, the small four-storey building looks like a doll's house. It's hard to be more chic: it's the Upper East Side of Woody Allen, Ralph Lauren, Stella McCartney, Chanel and Ladurée. And yet we almost pity the man who lives in this elegant apartment of 90 square meters with beautiful wooden floors, white walls, designer chairs and works of art hanging on the walls.

So think: a few months ago, Gérard Araud lived in a real palace, his residence as ambassador of France in Washington. And a few years ago, from 2009 to 2014, then permanent representative of France at the United Nations, he occupied one of the most sumptuous apartments in New York, a duplex of 720 square meters. When François Hollande decided to give it up, the eighteen-piece was sold 70 million dollars …

Since April, ended the castle life for the man who organized sumptuous parties in Washington. Christine Lagarde, who was not imagined as party girl, went there as President of the IMF: "It was crazy class. To miss one was always to be told: "You really missed something!' " The first time that the ambassador and Christine Lagarde meet, the first confides to the second: "Finally, you are much more friendly than I thought! "

A gifted French diplomat

In April, the age limit ended up catching up with this elegant and slender man: 66 years old, terminus for the brilliant public career of this pure product of the republican school, over-graduated (Bac +10, Polytechnic, Sciences Po and ENA), eldest son of a commercial father and a housewife living in Marseille. He held four prestigious posts – Ambassador to Tel Aviv, director of strategic affairs at the Quai d'Orsay, United Nations, Washington – had to resolve to stop, not without having organized a final party (a masked ball), welcomed a successor (Philippe Étienne); made the precious diplomatic passport and wrote his book, Diplomatic passport. Forty years at the Quai d'Orsay, to be published on October 2nd at Grasset.

Gerard Araud at his home in New York on September 11th.
Gerard Araud at his home in New York on September 11th. Caroline Tompkins for M The World Magazine

Olivier Nora, his publisher, received a text "Between the political essay and the Memoirs, a dive into the heart of the machine, the decision-making mechanism: I had never read that. " In his last third, the book analyzes especially the victory and the exercise of the power of Donald Trump. Araud regrets that we can "Trump vomiting by relying on his faults, it is true patents, thus implicitly refusing to consider that his election is anything but an accident, an aberration."


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