The Rumor Du Jour Out of the French State Visit: A New French Ambassador to the US?

Sources in DC and Europe hint that François Delattre might be replaced this summer.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

There wasn’t a lot of gossip that came out of the state visit to Washington last week by French President François Hollande—he’d actually more than fed the rumor mill richly before he departed French soil, thanks to his personal life—but one little bit of intel did float around: Current French Ambassador to the US François Delattre might be replaced in the summer by Gérard Araud, currently the Ambassador of France to the UN. If the rumor’s true, Araud, a career diplomat who lives in New York with his partner, would become one of the highest-profile openly gay ambassadors in Washington.  

Delattre, who was appointed ambassador in February 2011 by Hollande’s predecessor, Nicolas Sarkozy, has given no public indication that he plans to move on from the Washington post. The French UN mission declined to comment on the rumor, first cited last week in France, and the French Embassy in Washington said only that “the foreign affairs ministry does not comment on issues related to its staff.” 

If the move comes to pass, France would be the second major European power to move its UN ambassador to Washington this year: Germany is poised to have its long-time UN representative, Peter Wittig, take over in Washington from Ambassador Peter Ammon later this year.