France’s New Ambassador to Israel has Strong Ties to Jewish State

Advisor for African affairs to the French President Helene Le Gal speaks to journalists in Bangui, on October 7, 2014. Sent as France's special envoy to Centrafrica by Francois Hollande, Le Gal has met with the interim government, UN forces from the MINUSCA and religious leaders in order to set …

The Jerusalem Post reports: PARIS – France’s new ambassador to Israel, Helene Le Gal, will be no stranger when she begins her assignment here next month. As a young diplomat on her second post, she spent three years at the embassy in Tel Aviv in the 1990s.

Some 20 years later, Le Gal has been appointed to replace ambassador Patrick Maisonnave, who has held the position since 2013.

Le Gal is no ordinary diplomat. She was born in a modest middle-class suburb of Paris to a family originally from Brittany. Her father abandoned his family’s agricultural tradition to become an engineer instead of a farmer.

Le Gal chose a career in the diplomatic service while still a teenager. No one in her family had ever pursued such a career. While in middle school, Le Gal’s parents sent her to visit some family in the US, an experience that made her decide to study political science and aim for a diplomatic career.

Le Gal is among France’s most well known diplomats. Her first post was in Burkina Faso. She later held a cabinet position as minister of Foreign Affairs and International Development and was the first woman to serve as French consul-general to Quebec, a highly sensitive position in that French-speaking province.

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