From July 6 to 9, 2007, Québec premier Jean Charest visited Paris, France, to meet with the new French government. Mr. Charest spoke with new French president Nicolas Sarkozy, as well as Prime Minister François Fillon and Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner. Mr. Charest also met with Mr. Jean-Pierre Raffarin, Vienne senator and president of the French organizing committee for Québec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations, and Ms. Ségolène Royal, socialist candidate in the latest presidential election and current president of the Poitou-Charentes regional council.
In a press release issued on the eve of his visit to France, the Québec premier stated, “The arrival of the new Sarkozy government and the approaching Francophonie Summit and festivities surrounding Québec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations are a good opportunity to reiterate and strengthen the important ties between France and Québec.”
A news article on the Radio-Canada website indicates that during their meeting, Mr. Charest and Mr. Sarkozy discussed the 2008 Francophonie Summit, Québec City’s 400th anniversary celebrations, and the possibility of a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union.