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Decorating PM with Richelieu medal an honor for Kuwait -- ambassador

(with photos) PARIS, Dec 1 (KUNA) -- Granting His Highness the Prime Minister of Kuwait Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammad Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah with the 'Armand de Richelieu' medal of the Sorbonne University is an honor for the State of Kuwait as a whole, said Kuwait's Ambassador in Paris Ali Al-Saeed on Tuesday.
Speaking to KUNA following a meeting with the director of the university's PhD program, Professor David Capitant, to receive the official invitation, the ambassador said, "This honoring of His Highness the Prime Minister is an honor for the State of Kuwait and the distinguished role it holds for France." He noted that this was the first time that the Richelieu medal was being granted to an Arab personality, adding that selecting His Highness Sheikh Nasser underscored the importance of Kuwait and its relations with France.
Al-Saeed said that he received an official letter inviting His Highness the Prime Minister to the honoring ceremony at the Sorbonne on April 20, during which he would be decorated with the medal "in recognition of his role in defending the principles of democracy, especially the rights of Kuwaiti women, and also in recognition of the strong role he played in strengthening the distinguished relations that bind the two countries." The ambassador expressed appreciation, on behalf of His Highness the Prime Minister, for this gesture and promised to convey this invitation through official channels.
The 'Armand de Richelieu' is granted by the Sorbonne University every year to an international figure whose efforts contribute to bringing civilizations together. It is named after French Prime Minister Armand de Richelieu, who was the first premier in the history of France and was an alumni of the Sorbonne.
Former French President Jacques Chirac had decorated His Highness Sheikh Nasser with a medal of the first degree in 2006.
Meanwhile, Al-Saeed underscored the support that the two countries gave to boosting cultural relations, adding that Kuwaiti and French institutions were constantly working together and exchange expertise.
"Cooperation with Sorbonne University stems from this, and there are plans to launch cultural cooperation between the Sorbonne and Kuwait University on academic matters ... this is being looking into and we hope that it will be agreed upon soon," he concluded. (end) tm.ema KUNA 011240 Dec 09NNNN