France and Namibia enjoy excellent and friendly relations from the time of the Namibian liberation struggle. In the 70s, France was particularly active in the United Nations Security Council with the independence of Namibia. And in May 1981, France recognized the unconditional right of Namibia to independence, and SWAPO, the accepted official representative of the Namibian people to the United Nations opened its office in Paris.
Sharing the common goal of peace, security and development in Africa, our two countries have been enjoying these regular institutional relations since then. Presidents Sam Nujoma and Hifikepunye Pohamba were welcomed by the President Jacques Chirac, who came himself to Namibia in 1998. In 2010, Nicolas Sarkozy welcomed President Pohamba at the French Presidential Palace. Most recently, President Hage Geingob met François Hollande during COP21 in Paris.
Our parliaments also keep regular contact; in 2013 after the French Senate delegation visited Windhoek, a delegation from the National Council, led by its Chairman Asser Kapere, was welcomed in France in October 2015.
Many Namibian Ministers travelled to France in 2015: Hon. Leon Jooste, Minister of Public Enterprises, Kathrina Hanse-Himarwa, Minister of Education, Arts and Culture, Charles Namoloh, Minister of Safety and Security. Guest of honour of the International Tourism Fair in Colmar in 2015, Namibia was represented by Deputy Minister of Environment and Tourism, Thomas Nambahu, head of a delegation of a hundred people: officials, artists, and heads of small and large enterprises from the tourism sector. Finally, our Ministers of Environment, Ségolène Royal and Pohamba Shifeta, met twice in 2015, once in Windhoek and another time in Paris to guide their joint efforts in the fight against global warming and desertification.