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Foreign relations of France

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In the 19th century France built a new French colonial empire second only to the British Empire. It was humiliated in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, which marked the rise of Germany to dominance in Europe. France allied with Great Britain and Russia and was on the winning side of the First World War. Although it was initially easily defeated early in the Second World War, Free France, through its Free French Forces and the Resistance, continued to fight against the Axis powers as an Allied nation and was ultimately considered one of the victors of the war, as the allocation of a French occupation zone in Germany and West Berlin testifies, as well as the status of permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. It fought losing colonial wars in Indochina (ending in 1954) and Algeria (ending in 1962). The Fourth Republic collapsed and the Fifth Republic began in 1958 to the present. Under Charles De Gaulle it tried to block American and British influence on the European community. Since 1945, France has been a founding member of the United Nations, of NATO, and of the European Coal and Steel Community (the European Union's predecessor). As a charter member of the United Nations, France holds one of the permanent seats in the Security Council and is a member of most of its specialized and related agencies.

France is also a founding member of the Union for the Mediterranean and the La Francophonie and plays a key role, both in regional and in international affairs.

On February 14 2023, as part of their foreign policy in human rights, France showed its support for international justice by signing the Ljubljana-Hague Convention on International Cooperation in the Investigation and Prosecution of Genocide, Crimes against Humanity, War Crimes, and other International Crimes.[1]

Fifth Republic since 1981[edit]

François Mitterrand: 1981–1995[edit]

François Mitterrand, a Socialist, emphasized European unity[2] and the preservation of France's special relationships with its former colonies in the face of "Anglo-Saxon influence."[3] A part of the enacted policies was formulated in the Socialist Party's 110 Propositions for France, the electoral program for the 1981 presidential election. He had a warm and effective relationship with the conservative German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. They promoted French-German bilateralism in Europe and strengthened military cooperation between the two countries.

According to Wayne Northcutt, certain domestic circumstances helped shape Mitterrand's foreign policy in four ways: he needed to maintain a political consensus; he kept an eye on economic conditions; he believed in the nationalistic imperative for French policy; and he tried to exploit Gaullism and its heritage that is on political advantage.[4]

Jacques Chirac[edit]

Chrirac's foreign policy featured continuity.[5] His most prominent move was a break with Washington. Along with his friend Vladimir Putin of Russia, Hu Jintao of China, and Gerhard Schröder of Germany, Chirac emerged as a leading voice against the Iraq War of 2003. They opposed George W. Bush (U.S.) and Tony Blair (Britain) during the organisation and deployment of a "Coalition of the willing" to forcibly remove the government of Iraq controlled by the Ba'ath Party under the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Despite British and American pressure, Chirac threatened to veto a resolution in the UN Security Council that would authorise the use of military force to rid Iraq of alleged weapons of mass destruction. He rallied other governments to his position. "Iraq today does not represent an immediate threat that justifies an immediate war", Chirac said on 18 March 2003. Future Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin acquired much of his popularity for his speech against the war at the United Nations (UN).[6]

Nicolas Sarkozy[edit]

Shortly after taking office, President Sarkozy began negotiations with Colombian president Álvaro Uribe and the left-wing guerrilla FARC, regarding the release of hostages held by the rebel group, especially Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt. According to some sources, Sarkozy himself asked for Uribe to release FARC's "chancellor" Rodrigo Granda. [7] Furthermore, he announced on 24 July 2007, that French and European representatives had obtained the extradition of the Bulgarian nurses detained in Libya to their country. In exchange, he signed with Gaddafi security, health care and immigration pacts – and a $230 million (168 million euros) MILAN antitank missile sale.[8] The contract was the first made by Libya since 2004, and was negotiated with MBDA, a subsidiary of EADS. Another 128 million euros contract would have been signed, according to Tripoli, with EADS for a TETRA radio system. The Socialist Party (PS) and the Communist Party (PCF) criticized a "state affair" and a "barter" with a "Rogue state".[9] The leader of the PS, François Hollande, requested the opening of a parliamentary investigation.[8]

On 8 June 2007, during the 33rd G8 summit in Heiligendamm, Sarkozy set a goal of reducing French CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050 in order to prevent global warming. He then pushed forward the important Socialist figure of Dominique Strauss-Kahn as European nominee to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).[10] Critics alleged that Sarkozy proposed to nominate Strauss-Kahn as managing director of the IMF to deprive the Socialist Party of one of its more popular figures.[11]

Sarkozy normalised what had been strained relations with NATO. In 2009, France again was a fully integrated NATO member. François Hollande has continued the same policy.[12]

François Hollande[edit]

François Hollande and Vladimir Putin in December 2014

Socialist François Hollande won election in 2012 as president.[13] He adopted a generally hawkish foreign-policy, in close collaboration with Germany in regard to opposing Russian moves against Ukraine, and in sending the military to fight radical Islamists in Africa.[14] He took a hard line with regard to the Greek debt crisis.[15] François Hollande launched two military operations in Africa: Operation Serval in Mali (the French armed forces stopped an Islamist takeover of Bamako, the nation's capital city); and Operation Sangaris (to restore peace there as tensions between different religious communities had turned into a violent conflict). France was also the first European nation to join the United States in bombing the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Under President Hollande, France's stances on the civil war in Syria and Iran's nuclear program have been described as "hawkish".[16]

Emmanuel Macron, 2017–present[edit]

Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump in April 2018
Emmanuel Macron and Joe Biden in December 2022

Sophie Meunier in 2017 ponders whether France is still relevant in world affairs:

France does not have as much relative global clout as it used to. Decolonization ... diminished France's territorial holdings and therefore its influence. Other countries acquired nuclear weapons and built up their armies. The message of "universal" values carried by French foreign policy has encountered much resistance, as other countries have developed following a different political trajectory than the one preached by France. By the 1990s, the country had become, in the words of Stanley Hoffmann, an "ordinary power, neither a basket case nor a challenger." Public opinion, especially in the United States, no longer sees France as an essential power. The last time that its foreign policy put France back in the world spotlight was at the outset of the Iraq intervention...[with] France's refusal to join the US-led coalition....In reality, however, France is still a highly relevant power in world affairs....France is a country of major military importance nowadays...., France also showed it mattered in world environmental affairs with....the Paris Agreement, a global accord to reduce carbon emissions. The election of Trump in 2016 may reinforce demands for France to step in and lead global environmental governance if the US disengages, as the new president has promised, from a variety of policies.[17]

In July 2019, the UN ambassadors from 22 nations, including France, signed a joint letter to the UNHRC condemning China's mistreatment of the Uyghurs as well as its mistreatment of other minority groups, urging the Chinese government to close the Xinjiang re-education camps.[18]

On 31 May 2022, due to the reforms pushed by the president and perceived lack of recognition, the French diplomats will go on a strike for the first time in 20 years. This is a bad timing for President Emmanuel Macron as the France is holding the EU Presidency until the end of June.[19]

In November 2023, France's President Emmanuel Macron welcomed the announcement of a significant agreement between Israel and Hamas. The agreement focused on the release of hostages and the implementation of a humanitarian truce.[20]

International organization participation[edit]

ACCT, AfDB, AsDB, Australia Group, BDEAC, BIS, CCC, CDB (non-regional), CE, CERN, EAPC, EBRD, ECA (associate), ECE, ECLAC, EIB, EMU, ESA, ESCAP, EU, FAO, FZ, G-5, G-7, G-10, IADB, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IHO, ILO, IMF, International Maritime Organization, Inmarsat, InOC, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, IOM, ISO, ITU, ITUC, MINURSO, MIPONUH, MONUC, NAM (guest), NATO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, PCA, SPC, UN, UN Security Council, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNIKOM, UNITAR, UNMIBH, UNMIK, UNOMIG, UNRWA, UNTSO, UNU, UPU, WADB (nonregional), WEU, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WToO, WTrO, Zangger Committee

International border disputes[edit]

Middle East[edit]

The French colonial empire in 1920

France established relations with the Middle East during the reign of Louis XIV. To keep Austria from intervening into its plans regarding Western Europe he lent limited support to the Ottoman Empire, though the victories of Prince Eugene of Savoy destroyed these plans.[21] In the nineteenth century France together with Great Britain tried to strengthen the Ottoman Empire, the now "Sick man of Europe", to resist Russian expansion, culminating in the Crimean War.[22]

France also pursued close relations with the semi-autonomous Egypt. In 1869 Egyptian workers -under the supervision of France- completed the Suez Canal. A rivalry emerged between France and Britain for control of Egypt, and eventually Britain emerged victorious by buying out the Egyptian shares of the company before the French had time to act.[23]

After the unification of Germany in 1871, Germany successfully attempted to co-opt France's relations with the Ottomans. In World War I the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers, and was defeated by France and Britain. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire France and Britain divided the Middle East between themselves. France received Syria and Lebanon.[24]


Smoke rises from oil tanks beside the Suez Canal hit during the initial Anglo-French assault on Egypt, 5 November 1956

These colonies were granted independence after 1945, but France still tried to forge cultural and educational bonds between the areas, particularly with Lebanon. Relationships with Syria are more strained, due to the policies of that country. In 2005, France, along with the United States, pressured Syria to evacuate Lebanon.[25] In the post-World War II era French relations with the Arab Middle East reached a very low point. The war in Algeria between Muslim fighters and French colonists deeply concerned the rest of the Muslim world. The Algerian fighters received much of their supplies and funding from Egypt and other Arab powers, much to France's displeasure.[26]

Most damaging to Franco-Arab relations, however, was the Suez Crisis. It greatly diminished France's reputation in the region. France openly supported the Israeli attack on the Sinai peninsula, and was working against Nasser, then a popular figure in the Middle East. The Suez Crisis also made France and the United Kingdom look again like imperialist powers attempting to impose their will upon weaker nations.[27] Another hindrance to France's relations with the Arab Middle East was its close alliance with Israel during the 1950s.

De Gaulle's policies[edit]

This all changed with the coming of Charles de Gaulle to power. De Gaulle's foreign policy was centered around an attempt to limit the power and influence of both superpowers, and at the same time increase France's international prestige. De Gaulle hoped to move France from being a follower of the United States to becoming the leading nation of a large group of non-aligned countries. The nations de Gaulle looked at as potential participants in this group were those in France's traditional spheres of influence: Africa and the Middle East. The former French colonies in eastern and northern Africa were quite agreeable to these close relations with France. These nations had close economic and cultural ties to France, and they also had few other suitors amongst the major powers. This new orientation of French foreign policy also appealed strongly to the leaders of the Arab nations. None of them wanted to be dominated by either of the superpowers, and they supported France's policy of trying to balance the US and the USSR and to prevent either from becoming dominant in the region. The Middle Eastern leaders wanted to be free to pursue their own goals and objectives, and did not want to be chained to either alliance bloc. De Gaulle hoped to use this common foundation to build strong relations between the nations. He also hoped that good relations would improve France's trade with the region. De Gaulle also imagined that these allies would look up to the more powerful French nation, and would look to it in leadership in matters of foreign policy.[28]

The end of the Algerian conflict in 1962 accomplished much in this regard. France could not portray itself as a leader of the oppressed nations of the world if it still was enforcing its colonial rule upon another nation. The battle against the Muslim separatists that France waged in favour of the minority of French settlers was an extremely unpopular one throughout the Muslim world. With the conflict raging it would have been close to impossible for France to have had positive relations with the nations of the Middle East. The Middle Eastern support for the FLN guerillas was another strain on relations that the end of the conflict removed. Most of the financial and material support for the FLN had come from the nations of the Middle East and North Africa. This was especially true of Nasser's Egypt, which had long supported the separatists. Egypt is also the most direct example of improved relations after the end of hostilities. The end of the war brought an immediate thaw to Franco-Egyptian relations, Egypt ended the trial of four French officers accused of espionage, and France ended its trade embargo against Egypt.

In 1967 de Gaulle completely overturned France's Israel policy. De Gaulle and his ministers reacted very harshly to Israel's actions in the Six-Day War. The French government and de Gaulle condemned Israel's treatment of refugees, warned that it was a mistake to occupy the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and also refused to recognize the Israeli control of Jerusalem. The French government continued to criticize Israel after the war and de Gaulle spoke out against other Israeli actions, such as the operations against the Palestine Liberation Organization in Lebanon. France began to use its veto power to oppose Israel in the UN, and France sided with the Arab states on almost all issues brought to the international body. Most importantly of all, however, de Gaulle's government imposed an arms embargo on the Israeli state. The embargo was in fact applied to all the combatants, but very soon France began selling weaponry to the Arab states again. As early as 1970 France sold Libya a hundred Dassault Mirage fighter jets. However, after 1967 France continued to support Israel's right to exist, as well as Israel's many preferential agreements with France and the European Economic Community.

Foreign aid[edit]

In the second half of the 20th century, France increased its expenditures in foreign aid greatly, to become second only to the United States in total aid amongst the Western powers and first on a per capita basis. By 1968 France was paying out $855 million per year in aid far more than either West Germany or the United Kingdom. The vast majority of French aid was directed towards Africa and the Middle East, usually either as a lever to promote French interests or to help with the sale of French products (e.g. arms sales). France also increased its expenditures on other forms of aid sending out skilled individuals to developing countries to provide technical and cultural expertise.[29]

The combination of aid money, arms sales, and diplomatic alignments helped to erase the memory of the Suez Crisis and the Algerian War in the Arab world and France successfully developed amicable relationships with the governments of many of the Middle Eastern states. Nasser and de Gaulle, who shared many similarities, cooperated on limiting American power in the region.[30] Nasser proclaimed France as the only friend of Egypt in the West. France and Iraq also developed a close relationship with business ties, joint military training exercises, and French assistance in Iraq's nuclear program in the 1970s.[citation needed] France improved relations with its former colony Syria, and eroded cultural links were partially restored.[citation needed]

In terms of trade France did receive some benefits from the improved relations with the Middle East. French trade with the Middle East increased by over fifty percent after de Gaulle's reforms. The weaponry industries benefited most as France soon had lucrative contracts with many of the regimes in the Middle East and North Africa, though these contracts account for a negligible part of France's economy.[citation needed]

De Gaulle had hoped that by taking a moderate path and not strongly supporting either side France could take part in the Middle East peace process between Israel and the Arab nations. Instead it has been excluded from any major role.[31]

Nicolas de Rivière, the Permanent Representative of France to the United Nations, thanked to Mesdames Bahous, Russell and Kanem for their briefings in Israel-Hamas war, and to reiterate France's full support for UN Women, UNICEF and UNFPA in their engagement to help the people of Gaza. Furthermore, France welcomed the agreement, which lead to the release of dozens of hostages and a truce.[32]

Modern history[edit]

The Middle East has been a major factor of France's foreign policy.[33] Over a decade since 2000, France successfully built an influential presence across the MENA region where the major focus had been on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar.[34] The Middle East policy of France was essential from the strategic, cultural and economic point of view, where the focus remained on proving itself as an international power.[35] The country invested years in maintaining a strong foothold in the region on the lines of trade, security interests, and cultural and social exchanges.[34] As Emmanuel Macron became the president in 2017, he gave a clear picture about the French relations with the Middle East and its importance, both in his foreign policy speeches and his initiatives. His predecessors, on the other hand, had mostly picked the option of "reassurance" with the region's governments. Gradually, France began to show increasing interest in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, particularly.[33] The country became actively supportive towards the two Arab nations in their involvement in the Yemen civil war, becoming one of the crucial arms suppliers. There had been a number of calls from the human rights organizations for France to halt their arms sales to both Saudi and the UAE, which were known for causing a humanitarian crisis in Yemen.[36] Even in 2021, Macron continued taking initiatives towards strengthening relations with the Kingdom and the Emirates. During his visit to the region in November 2021, Macron signed a weapons deal worth 16 billion euros with the UAE. The agreement involved transfer of 80 upgraded Rafale warplanes, along with 12 Airbus-built combat helicopters. While France viewed it as a way to deepen ties with the Emirates, rights organizations criticized and raised concerns around the UAE's involvement in the Yemen and Libyan wars. They objected the deal stating that the Gulf leaders have reflected a constant failure in improving their human rights records.[37][38]

Despite the improving relations between the Emirates and France, the UAE made extensive efforts towards to showcase its image in a positive light. In light of it, a Franco-Tunisian businessman, Elyes Ben Chedly reportedly ran promotion for two of the Emirates' cultural campaigns. Reports revealed that the middleman worked to promote the UAE's "Year of Tolerance" campaign, and was also involved in running the "year Zayed" program in Paris. Reports also revealed that Ben Chedly also used his network of arms contracts to mediate weapons deal between the UAE and other nations.[39]

A report in March 2023 by Mediapart revealed that the UAE had been interfering in France by the means of a Switzerland-based intelligence firm Alp Services. A French journalist, Roland Jacquard connected Alp's head Mario Brero with the Emirati secret services client, identified as Mohammed. Jacquard maintained a close contact with a network of politicians and diplomats. He was directly in contact with Mohammed, whose emails revealed that Jacquard was supplying the UAE with information from the security services, Emmanuel Macron and the Élysée.[40]

During the April 2024 Paris book fair, an influence offensive was carried out through an Abu Dhabi-based research centre, Trends Research & Advisory. The UAE waged the offensive, under which representatives of Trends distributed brochures in English and Arabic, along with a research by the UAE-based Group 42, at the Paris event. Intelligence Online claimed that the Emirates might use Trends’ senior adviser and director of the French think-tank IRIS, Pascal Boniface, to build its influence in Paris.[41] [42]

France and Qatar have maintained diplomatic relations since Qatar declared independence in 1971.[43] The bilateral partnership began to flourish in the early 1990s, focusing on security and hydrocarbon cooperation. TotalEnergies, present in Qatar since 1936, quickly emerged as a key collaborator with QatarEnergies in the extraction and development of the nation's hydrocarbon reserves.[43] Additionally, various agreements have been executed between Qatar and France to bolster security measures for 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.[44] In preparation for the significant security demands of the event, Poland has pledged to contribute troops, including sniffer dog handlers, to support international efforts aimed at ensuring the safety of the Olympic Games in France.[45]

France, renowned for its expertise in internal security, plays a vital role in the success of Milipol Qatar. The France Pavilion, a collaborative effort by CCI Seine-et-Marne and Business France, showcases the country's dedication to enabling its companies to contribute to Qatar's dynamic security market. French firms demonstrate their advanced capabilities, particularly in cutting-edge fields such as cybersecurity, drone surveillance, and safeguarding critical infrastructure. The collaboration on internal security between France and Qatar is a significant aspect of their bilateral ties, reflecting a history of robust and mutually beneficial partnership. This collaboration was further formalized in 2003 with close cooperation between the Qatari Internal Security Force and the French national gendarmerie. The partnership has expanded to encompass various areas, including counterterrorism, crisis response, and specialized training.[46]

Diplomatic relations[edit]

List of countries which France maintains diplomatic relations with:

# Country Date[47]
1  United Kingdom 1396[48]
2  Portugal 7 January 1485[49][50]
3  Spain 1486[51]
4  Denmark 8 July 1498[52][53]
 Holy See 1500s[54]
5   Switzerland 29 November 1516[55]
6  Austria 1535[56]
7  Sweden October 1541[57]
8  Russia November 1615[58]
9  Iran 13 August 1715[59]
10  United States 6 August 1778[60]
11  Netherlands 19 July 1820[61]
12  Brazil 8 January 1826[62]
13  Guatemala 2 March 1831[63]
14  Belgium August 1831[64]
15  Greece 19 February 1833[65]
16  Venezuela 11 March 1833[66]
17  Bolivia 9 April 1834[67]
18  Argentina 15 May 1834[68]
19  Uruguay 8 April 1836[69]
20  Haiti 12 February 1838[70]
21  Serbia 18 January 1839[71]
22  Mexico 27 February 1840[72]
23  Chile 15 September 1846[73]
24  Costa Rica 12 March 1848[74]
25  Ecuador 6 June 1848[75]
26  Dominican Republic 22 October 1848[76]
27  Liberia 20 April 1852[77]
28  Paraguay 4 March 1853[78]
29  Honduras 22 February 1856[79]
30  Thailand 15 August 1856[80]
31  Japan 9 October 1858[81]
32  Nicaragua 11 April 1859[82]
33  El Salvador 21 October 1859[83]
34  Peru 9 March 1861[84]
35  Italy 10 August 1861[85]
36  Germany 31 May 1871[86]
37  Monaco 29 April 1873[87]
38  Bulgaria 8 July 1879[88]
39  Romania 20 February 1880[89]
40  Luxembourg 10 December 1890[85]
41  Colombia 30 May 1892[90]
42  Ethiopia 20 March 1897[91]
43  Cuba 11 June 1902[92]
44  Panama 18 November 1903[93]
45  Norway 5 November 1905[94]
46  Finland 24 January 1918[95]
47  Poland 2 April 1919[96]
48  Hungary 4 June 1920[97]
49  Turkey 20 October 1921[98]
50  Afghanistan 28 April 1922[99]
51  Egypt 31 May 1922[100][101]
52  Albania 16 June 1922[102]
53  Czech Republic 25 January 1924[103]
54  Ireland 19 October 1929[104]
55  South Africa 5 November 1934[105]
56  Saudi Arabia 1 June 1942
57  Yemen 1 June 1942
58  Canada 21 November 1944
59  Australia 13 December 1944
60  New Zealand 13 July 1945
61  Iceland 18 November 1945[106]
62  Lebanon 23 May 1946
63  Syria 18 June 1946
64  Iraq 24 November 1946
65  Philippines 26 June 1947[107]
66  India 15 August 1947
67  Pakistan 2 December 1947
68  Jordan 12 January 1948
69  Myanmar 28 February 1948[108]
70  Sri Lanka 27 October 1948
71  South Korea 15 February 1949
72    Nepal 24 April 1949
73  Israel 11 May 1949[109]
74  Indonesia 2 August 1950
75  Laos 31 January 1951[110]
76  Libya 1 January 1952
77  Cambodia 4 November 1952[111]
78  Morocco 2 March 1956
79  Tunisia 20 March 1956
80  Sudan 16 April 1956
81  Ghana 7 July 1957
82  Malaysia 31 August 1957
83  Guinea 11 February 1959
84  Cameroon 1 January 1960
85  Togo 27 April 1960
86  Madagascar 25 June 1960
87  Democratic Republic of the Congo 30 June 1960
88  Somalia 1 July 1960
89  Benin 2 August 1960
90  Niger 4 August 1960
91  Burkina Faso 4 August 1960
92  Ivory Coast 8 August 1960
93  Chad 12 August 1960
94  Central African Republic 14 August 1960
95  Republic of the Congo 16 August 1960
96  Cyprus 16 August 1960
97  Gabon 18 August 1960
98  Mali 20 August 1960
99  Senegal 20 August 1960
100  Nigeria 1 October 1960
101  Mauritania 6 December 1960
102  Sierra Leone 27 April 1961
103  Tanzania 22 December 1961
104  Burundi 1 July 1962
105  Rwanda 1 July 1962
106  Algeria 5 July 1962
107  Jamaica 3 August 1962
108  Trinidad and Tobago 31 August 1962
109  Uganda 29 October 1963
110  Kenya 12 December 1963
111  China 27 January 1964[112]
112  Kuwait 17 May 1964[113]
113  Malawi 3 July 1964
114  Malta 21 September 1964
115  Zambia 19 October 1964
116  Mongolia 27 April 1965[114]
117  San Marino 15 May 1965[115]
118  Gambia 28 May 1965
119  Singapore 9 August 1965
120  Botswana 2 February 1967
121  Guyana 6 April 1967
122  Lesotho 21 August 1967
123  Barbados 29 February 1968
124  Mauritius 29 February 1968
125  Maldives 20 May 1969[116]
126  Equatorial Guinea 10 July 1969
127  Eswatini 16 March 1970
128  Fiji 16 July 1971
129  Samoa 16 July 1971
130  Tonga 16 July 1971
131  Bahrain 5 January 1972[117]
132  Oman 5 January 1972[118]
133  Qatar 5 January 1972[119]
134  United Arab Emirates 5 January 1972[120]
135  Bangladesh 17 March 1972
136  Vietnam 12 April 1973[121]
137  Bahamas 6 November 1974
138  Grenada 16 June 1975
139  Guinea-Bissau 15 July 1975
140  São Tomé and Príncipe 10 September 1975
141  Cape Verde 31 December 1975
142  Mozambique 8 April 1976
143  Suriname 19 May 1976
144  Seychelles 20 August 1976
145  Papua New Guinea 24 August 1976
146  Angola 31 January 1977
147  Djibouti 27 June 1977[122]
148  Nauru 15 March 1978
149  Comoros 3 July 1978[123]
150  Solomon Islands 12 October 1978
151  Dominica 17 January 1979
152  Tuvalu 14 May 1979
153  Saint Lucia 14 September 1979
154  Zimbabwe 18 April 1980[124]
155  Vanuatu 30 July 1980
156  Belize 5 January 1982
157  Antigua and Barbuda 14 May 1982
158  Kiribati 13 October 1982
159  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines 5 November 1982
160  Brunei 20 February 1984
161  Saint Kitts and Nevis 17 July 1984
162  Namibia 3 May 1990
163  Lithuania 29 August 1991[125]
164  Estonia 30 August 1991[126]
165  Latvia 30 August 1991[127]
166  Ukraine 24 January 1992[128]
167  Belarus 25 January 1992[129]
168  Kazakhstan 25 January 1992[130]
169  Azerbaijan 21 February 1992[131]
170  Armenia 24 February 1992[132]
171  Kyrgyzstan 28 February 1992[133]
172  Tajikistan 1 March 1992[134]
173  Uzbekistan 1 March 1992[135]
174  Turkmenistan 6 March 1992[136]
175  Moldova 11 March 1992[137]
176  Slovenia 23 April 1992[138]
177  Croatia 24 April 1992[139]
178  Georgia 21 August 1992[140]
179  Liechtenstein 27 August 1992[141]
180  Bosnia and Herzegovina 12 November 1992[142]
181  Marshall Islands 8 December 1992
182  Slovakia 1 January 1993[143]
183  Federated States of Micronesia 21 January 1993
184  Andorra 3 June 1993[144]
185  North Macedonia 27 December 1993[145]
186  Eritrea 23 March 1994[146]
187  Palau 21 October 1997
 Cook Islands 19 October 1999
188  East Timor 6 December 2002
189  Montenegro 13 June 2006[147]
 Kosovo 18 February 2008[148]
190  South Sudan 11 October 2011
 Niue 15 January 2012 or before[149][150]

Bilateral relations[edit]


France plays a significant role in Africa, especially in its former colonies, through extensive aid programs, commercial activities, military agreements, and cultural impact. In those former colonies where the French presence remains important, France contributes to political, military, and social stability. Many think that French policy in Africa – particularly where British interests are also involved – is susceptible to what is known as 'Fashoda syndrome'. Others have criticized the relationship as neocolonialism under the name Françafrique, stressing France's support of various dictatorships, among others: Omar Bongo, Idriss Déby, and Denis Sassou Nguesso.

Country Formal relations began Notes
 Algeria See Algeria–France relations

Relations between post-colonial Algeria and France have remained close throughout the years, although sometimes difficult. In 1962, the Évian Accords peace treaty laid the foundations of a new Franco-Algerian relationship. In exchange for a generous coopération regime (massive financial, technical and cultural aid), France secured a number of economic and military privileges. Economically, France enjoyed a preferential treatment vis-à-vis the Saharan wealth of hydrocarbons. Militarily, it could keep the Mers-el-Kébir base for 15 years and use the Saharan nuclear test-sites for another five years. France had used these sites to carry out its first nuclear tests (Gerboise bleue) in 1960. 90% or more of the Europeans established in Algeria (pieds-noirs) left the country in a massive exodus creating a difficult void in the bureaucratic, economic and educational structure of Algeria. On the other hand, the issue of the harkis, the Arabs who had fought on the French side during the war, was still to be resolved at the turn of the 21st century, being somehow ignored by the French while seen as outright traitors by the Algerian people. On the economical level, Algeria remained for some time the fourth largest importer of French goods, conducting all its transactions with France in the Franc zone. Many Algerians were encouraged by French authorities and businessmen to migrate to France in order to provide workforce during the Trente Glorieuses (Thirty Glorious) growth. Relations between France and Algeria have remained closely intertwined, and France could not entirely escape from the chaos which threatened Algeria during the civil war in the nineties.

Ahmed Ben Bella, the first President of Algeria was reported in a 2001 interview as saying that "The Algerian people have lived with blood. We brought de Gaulle to his knees. We struggled against French rule for 15 years under the leadership of Emir Abdel-Kader Al-Jazairi. The Algerian population was then four million. French repression cost us two million lives. It was genocide. We survived as a people. Barbaric French atrocities did not subdue our fighting spirit."[151]

On 23 February 2005, the French law on colonialism was an act passed by the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) conservative majority, which imposed on high-school (lycée) teachers to teach the "positive values" of colonialism to their students (article 4). The law created a public uproar and opposition from the whole of the left-wing, and was finally repealed by president Jacques Chirac (UMP) at the beginning of 2006, after accusations of historical revisionism from various teachers and historians.

Algerians feared that the French law on colonialism would hinder the task the French confronting the dark side of their colonial rule in Algeria because article 4 of the law decreed among other things that "School programmes are to recognise in particular the positive role of the French presence overseas, especially in North Africa, ..."[152] Benjamin Stora a leading specialist on French Algerian history and an opponent of the French law on colonialism, said "France has never taken on its colonial history. It is a big difference with the Anglo-Saxon countries, where post-colonial studies are now in all the universities. We are phenomenally behind the times."[152] In his opinion, although the historical facts were known to academics, they were not well known by the French public and this led to a lack of honesty in France over French colonial treatment of the Algerian people.[152]

During the period that the French law on colonialism was in force, several Algerians and others raised issues and made comments to emphasise that there were many aspects of French colonial rule that were not widely known in France.[152] A senior Algerian official Mohamed El Korso said that "[French] repentance is seen by the Algerian people as a sine qua non before any Franco-Algerian friendship treaty can be concluded." and with reference to the Setif massacre that "French and international public opinion must know that France committed a real act of genocide in May 1945"[152] The Algerian president Abdelaziz Bouteflika said Algeria had "never ceased waiting for an admission from France of all the acts committed during the colonial period and the war of liberation." and drew comparisons between the burning of the bodies of the victims of the Setif massacre with the crematoria in the Nazi death camps.[152] More recently on 17 April 2006, Bouteflika emphasised Algeria's point of view when said in a speech in Paris that "Colonization brought the genocide of our identity, of our history, of our language, of our traditions".[153]

French authorities responded to the claims by President Bouteflika and others by playing down the comments, urging "mutual respect" French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier told Algeria in an official visit to make a common effort to search history "in order to establish a common future and overcome the sad pages". In an interview with El Vatan, an Algerian newspaper, Barnier said that "Historians from two sides must be encouraged to work together. They must work on the common past".[154] French authorities asked president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to study with France the disarmed 150,000 Harkis killed without another reason that revenge, by his party, the National Liberation Front (FLN).

French President Jacques Chirac, upon harsh reactions to the law encouraging the good sides of the French colonial history, made the statement, "Writing history is the job of the historians, not of the laws." According to Prime Minister, Dominique de Villepin, "speaking about the past or writing history is not the job of the parliament."[155]

The issue of the French human rights record in Algeria is also politically sensitive in Turkey. France recognized Armenian genocide by the Turks in 1998.[156] In response to the action of the French parliament, making it an offense to deny the existence of such a genocide, the Grand National Assembly of Turkey drafted a bill in October 2006 to make it illegal to deny that the French committed genocide in Algeria.[157] Turkish party leaders, including CHP, MHP, BBP and ANAP called on France to recognize what they called "Algerian genocide".[citation needed] However, the draft never became an official law.

  • Algeria has an embassy in Paris and several consulates-general throughout the country.
  • France has an embassy in Algiers and consulates-general in Annaba and Oran.
 Angola See Angola–France relations

Relations between the two countries have not always been cordial due to the former French government's policy of supporting militant separatists in Angola's Cabinda province and the international Angolagate scandal embarrassed both governments by exposing corruption and illicit arms deals.[158] Following French President Nicolas Sarkozy's visit in 2008, relations have improved.

  • Angola has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Luanda.
  • Benin has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Cotonou.
 Burkina Faso See Burkina Faso–France relations

Present day Burkina Faso was formerly part of a French colony called French Upper Volta. France has special forces stationed in Burkina Faso.[159]

In January 2023, Burkina Faso's military junta asked France to recall its ambassador amid a surge of anti-French sentiment as the country moved to develop closer ties to Russia[159]

 Burundi See France–Burundi relations
  • Burundi has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Bujumbura.
  • Cameroon has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Yaoundé and a consulate-general in Douala.
 Cape Verde See Cape Verde–France relations
  • Cape Verde has an embassy in Paris and consulate-general in Nice.
  • France has an embassy in Praia.
 Central African Republic 13 August 1960 See Central African Republic–France relations
  • Central African Republic has an embassy in Paris.[162]
  • France has an embassy in Bangui.[163]
 Chad 11 August 1960 See Chad–France relations

The French military has been present in Chad since 1986 in the frame of Operation Epervier.

 Congo See Republic of the Congo–France relations
  • Congo has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Brazzaville.
  • Comoros has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Moroni.
 Democratic Republic of the Congo

France and Germany decided on a concerted military operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This operation included sending 1500 European troops to the DRC to support fair and regular presidential elections in June 2006. While Germany leads the mission, both France and Germany provide 500 soldiers each, with the rest of the soldiers coming from other European countries.

Many scholars of the European Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) question whether the mission is of great use, and argue that it is rather symbolic in character. With 17,000 United Nations forces already deployed in the DRC the purpose of such a small operation remains questionable. The European troops will be stationed in the capital-city Kinshasa only. It is probable however, that the expertise of former peace-building missions on the Balkans will be useful in order to prevent any major escalation during the elections.

In 2013, France's then president on his visit to DRC suggested that prisoners Joshua French and Tjostolv Moland should be moved out of the situation of their six-man prison cell; five days later the two prisoners shared a cell of their own.[166]

  • DR Congo has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Kinshasa.
 Djibouti See Djibouti–France relations
  • Djibouti has an embassy in Paris
  • France has an embassy in Djibouti City.
 Egypt See Egypt–France relations
  • Egypt has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Cairo and a consulate-general in Alexandria.
 Equatorial Guinea
  • Equatorial Guinea has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Malabo.
  • Ethiopia has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Addis Ababa.
 Gabon See France–Gabon relations

Since independence, Gabon has been "one of France's closest allies in Africa".[167] As of 2008, around 10,000 French nationals lived and worked in Gabon, while the 6th Marine Infantry Battalion of the French military is also stationed there.

  • France has an embassy in Libreville.
  • Gabon has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Accra.
  • Ghana has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Conakry.
  • Guinea has an embassy in Paris.
 Ivory Coast See France–Ivory Coast relations

In 2002 and 2003, France participated in military interventions in Côte d'Ivoire in Opération Licorne and UNOCI. Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo helped in the evacuation of foreign residents and the protection of civilians from warring factions.

  • Côte d'Ivoire has an embassy in Paris and a consulate-general in Lyon.
  • France has an embassy in Abidjan.
 Kenya See France–Kenya relations
  • France has an embassy in Nairobi.
  • Kenya has an embassy in Paris.
 Liberia 1852 See France–Liberia relations
  • France has an embassy in Monrovia.
  • Liberia has an embassy in Paris.[168]
 Libya See France–Libya relations

In the 1980s, Libyan-French discord centered on the situation in Chad. As mentioned, the two countries found themselves supporting opposite sides in the Chadian Civil War. In late 1987, there were some French troops in Chad, but French policy did not permit its forces to cross the sixteenth parallel. Thus, direct clashes with Libyan soldiers seemed unlikely.[169]

On 10 March 2011, France was the first country in the world to recognise the National Transitional Council as the legitimate government of Libya, in the context of the 2011 Libyan civil war against Muammar Gaddafi.[170]

 Madagascar 26 June 1960 See France–Madagascar relations
 Mali See France–Mali relations
  • France has an embassy in Bamako.
  • Mali has an embassy in Paris.
 Mauritania See France–Mauritania relations

The relations date back to the colonial era when Mauritania was part of French West Africa.

  • France has an embassy in Nouakchott.
  • Mauritania has an embassy in Paris.
 Mauritius See France–Mauritius relations
  • France has an embassy in Port Louis.
  • Mauritius has an embassy in Paris.
 Morocco See France–Morocco relations
  • France has an embassy in Rabat and several consulates-general throughout the country.
  • Morocco has an embassy in Paris and several consulates-general throughout the country.
 Mozambique See France–Mozambique relations
  • France has an embassy in Maputo.
  • Mozambique has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Windhoek.
  • Namibia has an embassy in Paris.
 Niger 4 August 1960

(relations severed 4 August 2023||See France–Niger relations The relations between France and the Republic of Niger are based on a long shared history and the more than sixty year rule of Niger by French colonial empire beginning with the French conquest in 1898. Niger obtained independence from France in 1960, and a history of French influenced culture and French language have been a point of commonality in the creation of a distinctive Nigerien culture from the diverse pre-colonial nationalities which make up modern Niger. France benefited economically from their time as a colonial power, and still relies on imports from Niger for elements of their economy.

  • France has an embassy in Niamey.
  • Niger has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Abuja and a consulate-general in Lagos.
  • Nigeria has an embassy in Paris.
 Rwanda See France–Rwanda relations

In the period from 1990, until the Rwandan genocide, France (under Mitterrand) took a role sympathetic to the Habyarimana government.

  • France has an embassy in Kigali.
  • Rwanda has an embassy in Paris.
 Senegal August 1960 See France–Senegal relations
  • France has an embassy in Victoria.
  • Seychelles has an embassy in Paris.
 Somalia See France–Somalia relations

Bilateral relations between France and Somalia were established shortly after Somalia's independence. The French government opened an embassy in Mogadishu, and its Somalian counterpart likewise maintained an embassy in Paris. Following a significantly improved security situation, the Government of France in January 2014 appointed Remi Marechaux as the new French ambassador to Somalia.[175]

 Sudan France has had a long history as one of Sudan's principal commercial partners.[176] A French company was one of the prime contractors on the ill-fated Jonglei Canal.[176] In the early 1980s, Sudan awarded a concession to the French oil company, TotalFinaElf, for development of the oil reserves in Block Five in South Sudan.[176] Although the company stopped work there following the resumption of civil war, it retained the concession and initiated steps in 2004 to return.[176] France also sided with the government of Sudan in 2004 when it asserted that the situation in Darfur should not be described as genocide.[176] Chad, a former French colony and in recent years a country with which it had close relations, tended to influence France's view of the situation in Darfur.[176] French policy on Darfur became more critical following the election in 2007 of President Nicolas Sarkozy.[176] France hosted in June 2007 the United States, China, and some 15 other countries at a major conference intended to launch a new international effort to end the atrocities in Darfur.[176] The government of Sudan, angry that it was not consulted, boycotted the conference.[176] In recent years, France has shown less interest in Sudan while its policy seemed to depend on which official was speaking.[176] French oil companies have a continuing interest in the development of oil in South Sudan.[176]
  • France has an embassy in Khartoum.
  • Sudan has an embassy in Paris.
 South Africa See France–South Africa relations
  • France has an embassy in Dar es Salaam.
  • Tanzania has an embassy in Paris.
 Togo See France–Togo relations
  • France has an embassy in Lomé.
  • Togo has an embassy in Paris.
 Tunisia See France–Tunisia relations
  • France has an embassy in Tunis.
  • Tunisia has an embassy in Paris and several consulates-general throughout the country.
  • France has an embassy in Kampala.
  • Uganda has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Harare.
  • Zimbabwe has an embassy in Paris.


Country Formal relations began Notes
 Argentina 1829 See Argentina–France relations
 Barbados 3 May 1968 See Barbados–France relations
  • Barbados is accredited to France from its embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
  • France is accredited to Barbados from its embassy in Castries, Saint Lucia and maintains an honorary consulate in Bridgetown.
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations in November 1981.[179]
  • Belize is accredited to France from its high commission in London, United Kingdom.
  • France is accredited to Belize from its embassy in San Salvador, El Salvador.
  • Bolivia has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in La Paz.
 Brazil See Brazil–France relations

France has recognized Brazil as its special partner in South America and as a global player in international affairs. The two countries are committed to strengthening their bilateral cooperation in the areas for which working groups have been created: nuclear energy, renewable energies, defence technologies, technological innovation, joint cooperation in African countries and space technologies, medicines and the environment.[180] Recently, France announced its support to the Brazilian bid for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council.[180]

 Canada See Canada–France relations
 Chile 1846 See Chile–France relations
  • Chile has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Santiago.
 Colombia 1830 See Colombia–France relations

Relations with Colombia have been dimmed, by the Ingrid Betancourt issue from 2002 to 2008; in 2002, Ingrid Betancourt, a Colombian and French citizen and the green party candidate to the presidency of Colombia, was kidnapped by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), France pushed the Colombian government to free FARC prisoners to get Mrs Betancourt back; Colombia once consented with these efforts and on 4 June 2007; 30 FARC members were liberated, including the leader Rodrigo Granda.

On 2 July 2008 Ingrid Betancourt was rescued by the Colombian authorities in Operation Jaque. France had urged Colombia not to attempt to free Betancourt.[184]

  • Colombia has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Bogotá.
 Costa Rica
  • Costa Rica has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in San José.
 Cuba See Cuba–France relations
  • Cuba has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Havana.
 Commonwealth of Dominica 17 January 1979 See Commonwealth of Dominica–France relations
  • The Commonwealth of Dominica has an embassy in London.
  • France has a regional embassy in Castries, Saint Lucia.
 Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Quito.
 El Salvador 2 January 1858 See El Salvador–France relations
  • El Salvador has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in San Salvador.
  • France has an embassy in Guatemala City.
  • Guatemala has an embassy in Paris.
 Guyana 22 June 1967
  • Both countries established diplomatic relations on 22 June 1967.[185]
  • France is accredited to Guyana from its embassy in Paramaribo, Suriname and maintains an honorary consulate in Georgetown, Guyana.
  • Guyana is accredited to France from its high commission in London, United Kingdom.
  • Both countries have passed a number of bilateral treaties.[186]
 Haiti 1825 See France–Haiti relations
  • France has an embassy in Tegucigalpa.
  • Honduras has an embassy in Paris.
 Mexico 26 November 1826 See France–Mexico relations
  • France has an embassy in Managua.
  • Nicaragua has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Panama City.
  • Panama has an embassy in Paris and a consulate-general in Marseille.
 Paraguay 1853
 Peru 1826 See France–Peru relations
  • France has an embassy in Lima.
  • Peru has an embassy in Paris.
 Saint Lucia
 Suriname 25 August 1976[192] See France–Suriname relations
 Trinidad and Tobago See France–Trinidad and Tobago relations

Bilateral relations between the countries France and Trinidad and Tobago have existed for about two hundred years.[193] Currently, France has an embassy in Port of Spain. Trinidad and Tobago is represented in France through its embassy in Brussels (Belgium). Trinidad and Tobago also has bilateral investment agreements with France.[194]

  • France has an embassy in Port of Spain.
  • Trinidad and Tobago is accredited to France from its embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
 United States See France–United States relations

Relations between the United States and France are active and cordial. Mutual visits by high-level officials are conducted on a regular basis and bilateral contact at the cabinet level is active. France and the United States cooperate closely on some issues (such as anti-terrorism) but differ on others (such as the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and a number of trade issues). Differences are discussed frankly. The largest current fallout between the United States and France involves the Iraq War, and some aspects of the post-11 September War on Terror, e.g., CIA "extraordinary renditions".

 Uruguay 1825 See France–Uruguay relations
 Venezuela See France–Venezuela relations
  • France has an embassy in Caracas
  • Venezuela has an embassy in Paris.


France has extensive political and economical relations with Asian countries, including China, India, Japan, South Korea and Southeast Asia as well as an increasing presence in regional fora. France was instrumental in launching the Asia–Europe Meeting (ASEM) process which could eventually emerge as a competitor to APEC. France is seeking to broaden its commercial presence in China and will pose a competitive challenge to U.S. business, particularly in aerospace, high-tech, and luxury markets. In Southeast Asia, France was an architect of the Paris Peace Accords.

France does not have formal diplomatic relationships with North Korea. North Korea however maintains a delegation (not an embassy nor a consulate) near Paris. As most countries, France does not recognize, nor have formal diplomatic relationships with Taiwan, due to its recognition of China; however, Taiwan maintains a representation office in Paris which is similar to an embassy. Likewise, the French Institute in Taipei has an administrative consular section that delivers visas and fulfills other missions normally dealt with by diplomatic outposts.

Country Formal relations began Notes
 Afghanistan 1922 See Afghanistan–France relations
  • Afghanistan has an embassy in Paris.[196]
  • France has an embassy in Kabul, but its activities have been suspended since 2 September 2021.[197]
 Armenia See Armenia–France relations
 Azerbaijan 21 February 1992[198] See Azerbaijan-France relations
  • Azerbaijan has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Baku.
  • Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe.
 Cambodia See Cambodia–France relations
  • Cambodia has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Phnom Penh.
 China 7 October 1913 See China–France relations

During the 1990s, France and the PRC repeatedly clashed as a result of the PRC's One China Policy. France sold weapons to Taiwan, angering the Beijing government. This resulted in the temporary closure of the French Consulate-General in Guangzhou. France eventually agreed to prohibit local companies from selling arms to Taiwan, and diplomatic relations resumed in 1994. Since then, the two countries have exchanged a number of state visits. Today, Sino-French relations are primarily economic. Bilateral trade reached new high levels in 2000. Cultural ties between the two countries are less well represented, though France is making an effort to improve this disparity.

The bilateral investment relationship between France and China has been a key component of their economic partnership, with more than 50 agreements signed in sectors like nuclear energy, aerospace, and finance during Xi Jinping’s 2015 visit to France. Emmanuel Macron’s 2018 trip to Beijing further reinforced this partnership with €13 billion in contracts. Recent initiatives include collaboration in green energy and technology, significant investments in the automotive industry, infrastructure cooperation, aerospace industry developments, energy sector investments, and luxury goods market collaborations.[199]

In April 2024, French Foreign Minister Stephane Sejourne emphasized that France didn't plan to "decouple" from China but instead aimed for an "economic rebalancing" to establish a durable and fair trade partnership. He confirmed that ongoing discussions on "de-risking" with China would be maintained by France and the European Union, with no allusion to potential protectionist measures from the EU.[200]

 Georgia 21 August 1992 See France–Georgia relations
 India See France–India relations
The Indian Air Force has the second largest fleet of France's Mirage 2000H after Armée de l'Air.

France and India established diplomatic relationships soon after India achieved independence in 1947. India's strong diplomatic ties with France resulted in the peaceful cession of Pondichéry to India on 1 November 1954 without any military opposition from France.

France was the only country that did not condemn India's decision to go nuclear in 1998.[201] In 2003, France became the largest supplier of nuclear fuel and technology to India and remains a large military and economic trade partner. India's permanent member aspirations in the UN Security Council have found very strong support from former French President Chirac. The decision by the Indian government to purchase French Scorpène-class submarines worth US$3 billion and 43 Airbus aircraft for Indian Airlines worth US$2.5 billion has further cemented the strategic, military and economic co-operation between India and France.
France also became the first country to do nuclear trade with India after NSG waiver on 30 September 2008.

 Indonesia See France–Indonesia relations

The relations between France and Indonesia have been increasing of late, while Indonesia has become increasingly strategic to the government and people of France. Not only because of economic development (there are 110 French multinational companies operated in Indonesia), it also because France viewed Indonesia has been playing an increasingly significant international role.[202]

The relations between two nations are important as both are democratic republics and both holds significant geopolitical influences in each regions, France is indispensable member of European Union, as well as Indonesia for Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The diplomatic relation between France and Indonesia is also a key element for developing relations between Indonesia and the European Union and between France and the ASEAN.[203] Both nations are the member of G-20 major economies.

  • France has an embassy in Jakarta.
  • Indonesia has an embassy in Paris.
 Iran See France–Iran relations

Iran has generally enjoyed a friendly relationship with France since the Middle Ages. The travels of Jean-Baptiste Tavernier are particularly well known to Safavid Persia. Relations between France and Iran also remained friendly under French President Jacques Chirac. Recently however, relations have soured over Iran's refusal to halt uranium enrichment and France supporting the referral of Iran to the United Nations Security Council.[204]

  • France has an embassy in Tehran.
  • Iran has an embassy in Paris.
 Iraq See France–Iraq relations

Before Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991, France enjoyed friendly relations with former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein, however the relationship turned sour once Iraq entered Kuwaiti soil and soon France cut off ties with Iraq. Following thirteen years, France resumed relations with Iraq in 2003.[205] France and Germany opposed the American-British invasion of 2003 to 2011.

  • France has an embassy in Baghdad.
  • Iraq has an embassy in Paris.
 Israel 12 January 1949 See France–Israel relations
 Japan See France–Japan relations

Recently France has been very involved in trade and cultural exchange initiatives with Japan. Some people see this as being a result of French leader Jacques Chirac being a Japanophile. Chirac has visited Japan over 40 times, probably more than any other world leader outside Japan, and is an expert on the country. France has started the export promotion campaign "Le Japon, c'est possible" and the international liaison personnel exchange JET Programme. Together they built the Maison de la Culture du Japon à Paris.

France and Japan have also worked together to improve dire health situations from AIDS and underdevelopment in Djibouti, Madagascar, Uganda, and other countries.

Japan and France are also known to share ideas with each other in the realms of art and cooking. Japan has been heavily influenced by French cuisine within the past few decades, as seen on the television show Iron Chef. Anime is popular in France, and French historical figures and settings from medieval, Renaissance, Napoleonic, and World War eras have served as models for certain popular stories in Japanese entertainment. The purity of Japanese painting and illustration, and likewise the modernity and elegance of French visual arts has resulted in hybrid styles in those creative fields.

  • France has an embassy in Tokyo and consulate-general in Kyoto.
  • Japan has an embassy in Paris.
 Kazakhstan 25 January 1992 See France–Kazakhstan relations
  • France has an embassy in Nur-Sultan and a consulate-general in Almaty.[206]
  • Kazakhstan has an embassy in Paris.[207]
  • Over 140 enterprises with French capital operate in Kazakhstan, including Total, Areva, Danone, Vicat, Peugeot, Alstom, etc.[208]
  • France has an embassy in Kuwait City.
  • Kuwait has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Vientiane.
  • Laos has an embassy in Paris.
 Lebanon See France–Lebanon relations
  • France has an embassy in Beirut.
  • Lebanon has an embassy in Paris and a consulate-general in Marseille.
 Malaysia 1957 See France–Malaysia relations
  • France has an embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Malaysia has an embassy in Paris.
  • The relations started after the Federation of Malaya achieved independence in 1957, although the first Malayan ambassador to France only arrived in Paris in 1959.[209] During the administration of Jacques Chirac and Mahathir Mohamad, the relations significantly improved especially in economics, politics and culturally aspects.[209]
 Myanmar See France–Myanmar relations

Following the end of World War II, ambassador-level diplomatic relationships between France and Burma were established in 1948, soon after the Burmese nation became an independent republic on 4 January 1948, as Union of Burma, with Sao Shwe Thaik as its first President and U Nu as its first Prime Minister.

  • France has an embassy in Yangon.
  • Myanmar has an embassy in Paris.
 North Korea See France–North Korea relations

Relations between the France and North Korea are officially non-existent. France is one of the two European Union members not to recognise North Korea, the other being Estonia. France therefore officially recognises South Korean sovereignty over the Korean peninsula. There is no French embassy, nor any other type of French diplomatic representation, in Pyongyang, and no DPRK embassy in Paris. There is, however, a North Korean diplomatic office in Neuilly sur Seine, near Paris.[210][211]

 Pakistan See France–Pakistan relations

Pakistan and France have high levels of diplomatic meetings and enjoy very friendly bilateral relations. However, these good relations haven't been around very long due to a variety of reasons. Trade between the two countries is generally increasing with time.[212] See also Pakistanis in France, Musa Javed Chohan: former ambassador of Pakistan to France and recipient of the Ordre National du Merite for the promotion of bilateral cooperation between France and Pakistan.

  • France has an embassy in Islamabad.
  • Pakistan has an embassy in Paris.
 Philippines See France–Philippines relations

The France–Philippines relations refers to the foreign relations between France and the Philippines. In 1947, France and the Philippines signed a Treaty of Amity which established diplomatic relations with the two countries.

  • France has an embassy in Manila.
  • Philippines has an embassy in Paris.
 Qatar See France–Qatar relations

Qatar is dependent on France for around 80% of its military imports.[213] The first bilateral agreement between the two countries was signed in 1974.[214] A defense pact was signed in 1994.[215] Qatar's sovereign wealth fund has stakes in numerous French companies, including Paris Saint-Germain, Vivendi, and Vinci SA.

  • France has an embassy in Doha.
  • Qatar has an embassy in Paris.
 Saudi Arabia See France–Saudi Arabia relations
  • France has an embassy in Riyadh and a consulate-general in Jeddah..
  • Saudi Arabia has an embassy in Paris.
 Singapore See France–Singapore relations
  • France has an embassy in Singapore.
  • Singapore has an embassy Paris.
 South Korea 4 June 1886 See France–South Korea relations

The establishment of diplomatic relations between France and South Korea began on 4 June 1886. France and South Korea maintain very good relations. They collaborate on many topics and issues that are facing the world today. This was seen especially on the question of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) which is of course a matter of great importance for both countries Besides bilateral cooperation France and South Korea also work together in international organizations such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the OECD, etc. On the matter of North Korea, France is one of the few European countries (EU/EEA) to not have official diplomatic relations with North Korea. France has supported the Six-party talks as well as the role of the IAEA in finding solutions to the nuclear issue. The French Government had made an agreement of the Working Holiday Visa program with South Korea.

  • France has an embassy in Seoul.[216]
  • South Korea has an embassy in Paris.[217]
 Sri Lanka 27 October 1948
  • France has an embassy in Colombo.
  • Sri Lanka has an embassy in Paris.
 Syria See France–Syria relations

France recognized the SNC on 21 November 2011.[218]

 Thailand See France–Thailand relations

France–Thailand relations cover a period from the 16th century until modern times. Relations started in earnest during the reign of Louis XIV with numerous reciprocal embassies, and a major attempt by France to Christianize Siam (modern Thailand) and establish a French protectorate, which failed when the country revolted against foreign intrusions in 1688. France would only return more than a century and a half later as a modernized colonial power, engaging in a struggle for territory and influence against Thailand in the Indochinese Peninsula, which would last until the 20th century.

  • France has an embassy in Bangkok.
  • Thailand has an embassy in Paris.
 Turkey See France–Turkey relations
  • France has an embassy in Ankara and a consulate-general in Istanbul.
  • Turkey has an embassy in Paris.
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • France is an EU member and Turkey is an EU candidate. France opposes Turkey's accession negotiations to the EU, although negotiations have now been suspended.
 Turkmenistan See France–Turkmenistan relations
  • France has an embassy in Ashgabat.
  • Turkmenistan has an embassy in Paris.
 United Arab Emirates See France–United Arab Emirates relations
  • France has an embassy in Abu Dhabi and a consulate-general in Dubai.
  • United Arab Emirates has an embassy in Paris.
 Vietnam See France–Vietnam relations

France–Vietnam relations started as early as the 17th century with the mission of the Jesuit father Alexandre de Rhodes. Various traders would visit Vietnam during the 18th century, until the major involvement of French forces under Pigneau de Béhaine to help establish the Nguyễn dynasty from 1787 to 1789. France was heavily involved in Vietnam in the 19th century under the pretext of protecting the work of Catholic missionaries in the country. France progressively carved for itself a huge colony, which would form French Indochina in 1887. France continued to rule Vietnam as a colony until France's defeat in the First Indochina War and the proclamation of Vietnam's independence in 1954.

  • France has an embassy in Hanoi and a consulate-general in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Vietnam has an embassy in Paris.
 Yemen France began to show increasing interest in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, particularly. The country became actively supportive towards the two Arab nations in their involvement in the Yemen civil war, becoming one of the crucial arms suppliers. There had been a number of calls from the human rights organizations for France to halt their arms sales to both Saudi and the UAE, which were known for causing a humanitarian crisis in Yemen.


France has maintained its status as key power in Western Europe because of its size, location, strong economy, membership in European organizations, strong military posture and energetic diplomacy. France generally has worked to strengthen the global economic and political influence of the EU and its role in common European defense and collective security.

France supports the development of a European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) as the foundation of efforts to enhance security in the European Union. France cooperates closely with Germany and Spain in this endeavor.

Country Formal relations began Notes
 Albania See Albania–France relations

Autonomous Albanian Republic of Korçë

  • Albania has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Tirana.
 Andorra See Andorra–France relations
 Austria See Austria–France relations
  • Belarus has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Minsk.
 Belgium See Belgium–France relations
  • Belgium has an embassy in Paris and consulates-general in Marseille and Strasbourg.
  • France has an embassy in Brussels.
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union and NATO.
 Bosnia and Herzegovina

France was the first country to open embassy in besieged Sarajevo in January 1993.[219] Centre André Malraux[220] and French primary school[221] are located in Sarajevo and French Institute and French Cultural Centre offices are present in Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla. Since October 2010 Bosnia and Herzegovina is an observer on the Francophonie.[222]

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina has an embassy in Paris[223]
  • France has an embassy in Sarajevo.
 Bulgaria 8 July 1879 See Bulgaria–France relations

French president Nicolas Sarkozy, has been essential for the liberation of the Bulgarian nurse in the HIV trial in Libya.

 Croatia See Croatia–France relations
 Czech Republic See Czech Republic–France relations
  • Czech Republic has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Prague.
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union and NATO.
 Denmark See Denmark–France relations
  • Estonia has an embassy in Paris.
  • France has an embassy in Tallinn.
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union and NATO.
 Finland See Finland–France relations
 Germany See France–Germany relations

Franco-German cooperation is widely seen as the engine of European integration.

 Greece 1833 See France-Greece relations

Embassy level relations were enstablished since 1833 (only three years after the Greek independence).[226][227][228][229] The two countries share membership of the European Union and NATO and maintain special relations. They were allies during both World Wars, Korean War and the Cold War and have never been adversaries of each other. Greece is a member of La Francophonie.

 Holy See See France–Holy See relations
  • The Holy See has an Apostolic Nunciature in Paris.
  • France has an embassy to the Holy See based in Rome.
 Hungary See France–Hungary relations
  • France has an embassy in Budapest.
  • Hungary has an embassy in Paris.
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union and NATO.
 Iceland See France–Iceland relations
 Ireland 1922 See France–Ireland relations
 Italy See France–Italy relations
  • France has an embassy in Rome and consulates-general in Milan and Naples.
  • Italy has an embassy in Paris and consulates-general in Lyon, Marseille, Metz and Nice.
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union and NATO.
 Kosovo 18 February 2008 See France–Kosovo relations

When Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia on 17 February 2008, France became one of the first countries to announce official recognition of sovereign Kosovo.

  • France has an embassy in Pristina.[233]
  • Kosovo has an embassy in Paris.
 Latvia 30 August 1991
 Luxembourg See France–Luxembourg relations
  • France has an embassy in Luxembourg City.
  • Luxembourg has an embassy in Paris and a consulate-general in Strasbourg.
  • Both countries are full members of the European Union and NATO.
 Monaco See France–Monaco relations
  • France has an embassy in Monte Carlo.
  • Monaco has an embassy in Paris.
 Montenegro 14 June 2006
 Netherlands See France–Netherlands relations
 North Macedonia
  • France has an embassy in Skopje.
  • North Macedonia has an embassy in Paris.
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
  • France is an EU member and North Macedonia is an EU candidate.
 Norway See France–Norway relations
  • France has an embassy in Oslo.
  • Norway has an embassy in Paris.
  • Both countries are full members of NATO.
 Poland See France–Poland relations

Polish-French relations date several centuries, although they became really relevant only with times of French Revolution and reign of Napoleon I. Poles have been allies of Napoleon; large Polish community settled in France in the 19th century, and Poles and French were also allies during the interwar period. The official relations, having cooled down during the Cold War, have improved since the fall of communism. Currently both countries are part of the European Union and NATO.

 Portugal See France–Portugal relations
 Romania 1396 See France–Romania relations
 Russia See France–Russia relations

After the breakup of the USSR in 1991, bilateral relations between France and Russia were warm. On 7 February 1992, France signed a bilateral treaty, recognizing Russia as a successor of the USSR. Good relations ended in 2022 as France gave strong support to Ukraine when Russia invaded.[243]

  • France has an embassy in Moscow and consulates-general in Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg.
  • Russia has an embassy in Paris and consulates-general in Marseille and Strasbourg.
 Serbia 18 January 1879 See France–Serbia relations
 Slovakia 1993
 Spain See France–Spain relations
 Sweden See France–Sweden relations
  Switzerland 1798 See France–Switzerland relations
 Ukraine 24 January 1992 See France–Ukraine relations
 United Kingdom See France–United Kingdom relations

France and Scotland were military allies in the late Middle Ages through the Auld Alliance. From the Middle Ages onwards, France and England were often enemies, and occasionally allies. However, in the beginning of the 20th century a policy of entente cordiale (cordial agreement) was started. France and the United Kingdom became allies, and despite occasional tensions (such as: the perception among some in France that the British abandoned France in 1940; see Battle of France and Attack on Mers-el-Kébir), remain so to the present day.

A chronic point of contention is the future of the European Union. Under French president Charles de Gaulle France opposed on several occasions the UK joining the European Economic Community (as the EU was then called). De Gaulle argued that the UK had extensive alliances outside Europe, especially with the United States, and was famously suspicious of its European neighbours. After the UK joined the EEC, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher argued for and won a reduction of its contributions to the EEC budget. As Prime Minister, Tony Blair expressed scepticism at French economic policies, but forged an alliance with President Nicolas Sarkozy.

  • Both countries are full members of NATO.


Country Formal relations began Notes
 Australia See Australia–France relations

In August 2009, Nicolas Sarkozy became the first serving French leader to visit Australia.[255] The Courier Mail reported that "serious bilateral issues" for Sarkozy and Kevin Rudd to discuss included "the war in Afghanistan and global warming".[256]

  • Australia has an embassy in Paris and consulates-general in Nouméa and Papeete.
  • France has an embassy in Canberra and a consulate-general in Sydney.
 Fiji See Fiji–France relations

Relations between France and Fiji are currently strained, due to France's condemnation of the coup d'état in Fiji in December 2006. Previously, Franco-Fiji bilateral relations had primarily been centred on military cooperation, with France assisting Fiji in surveiling its maritime zone, and on development aid. French military assistance was suspended after the coup. French aid to Fiji includes the providing of equipment for poor and isolated areas, and assistance in the development of renewable energy. France also provides Fiji with translations into English of French scientific documents pertaining to the Pacific area. France promotes French culture and the French language in Fiji through the presence of the Alliance Française and by encouraging the teaching of French in schools and at the University of the South Pacific. The French embassy in Suva is accredited to Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu.[257]

  • Fiji is accredited to France from its embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
  • France has an embassy in Suva.
 Kiribati See France–Kiribati relations

The two countries maintain official diplomatic relations, but no diplomatic presence on each other's territory; the French embassy in Suva is accredited to Kiribati.[258]


In 1995, Nauru broke off relations diplomatic relations with France to protest French nuclear testing in the Pacific. Relations were resumed in 1997.[259] Nauruan President Ludwig Scotty paid a State visit to Paris in June 2006, when he attended a France-Oceania multilateral summit.

 New Zealand See France–New Zealand relations

Relations between France and New Zealand have been rocky at the best of times, but more recently become much closer. Bilateral relations have been good since World War I and World War II, with both countries working extremely closely during either conflicts, but the relationship was severely jeopardised by the sinking of the Rainbow Warrior in Auckland on 10 July 1985 by French Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE) agents. New Zealand was put under fierce economic strain by France following the attack with French Government demanding the agents who carried out the attack to be released by the New Zealand government. Since then there has been some animosity among New Zealanders towards the French, but since the 20th anniversary of the bombing in 2005, there were signs that New Zealand had begun to warm to the French. There has been speculation that this acceptance of the French by the New Zealand people has a lot to do with the historic rivalry between both countries' Rugby teams.

  • France has an embassy in Wellington.
  • New Zealand has an embassy in Paris.
 Papua New Guinea 1976 See France–Papua New Guinea relations

Relations between the French Republic and the Independent State of Papua New Guinea are limited but cordial. Papua New Guinea is a member of the United Nations' Special Committee on Decolonization. The French government has noted what it calls Port Moresby's "moderate" attitude on the issue of the decolonisation of New Caledonia – which, like Papua New Guinea, is located in Melanesia.[260] The French National Assembly maintains a Friendship Group with Papua New Guinea.

  • France has an embassy in Port Moresby.
  • Papua New Guinea is accredited to France from its embassy in Brussels, Belgium.
 Solomon Islands

Relations between both countries are very limited.[261]

 Vanuatu See France–Vanuatu relations

Vanuatu, then known as the New Hebrides, was a Franco-British Condominium from 1906 to 1980, and maintained formal relations with both of its former colonial masters after gaining independence. Franco–ni-Vanuatu relations were rocked by a series of crises in the 1980s, and broke down completely on several occasions, with Vanuatu expelling the French ambassador in 1981, in 1984 and in 1987. Relations improved from the 1990s onwards, and, today, France provides development aid to Vanuatu. The two countries also share amicable economic and cultural relations; both are members of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.

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Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]