France will soon appoint its fourth ambassador to Serbia in the past two and a half years

The news that the French Ambassador Frédéric Mondoloni is leaving his post has surprised diplomatic circles in Belgrade. Ambassador Mondoloni submitted his accreditation letters to President Aleksandar Vučić on December 11, 2017, just over a year and a half ago. As we learn, an experienced diplomat, Jean-Louis Falconi, who has represented France in the EU in Brus-sels and the UN in Vienna, will replace Ambassador Mondoloni. Perhaps this news would not be that unusual if the previous ambassador had not been in the ambassador position only for a few months, during the summer of 2017. His term was so short that he barely got to speak at the celebration of the Storming of the Bastille Day on July 14th that year. A month later, it was announced that “the French President has appointed a new French Ambassador to Serbia, Christophe Lecourtier, to head Business France, a business institution responsible for supporting French international trade and promoting foreign in-vestments in France,” the French Embassy in Serbia said in a statement.The statement also underlined that the appointment had nothing to do with the French-Serbian bilateral relations and that the French authorities would appoint a new ambassador to Serbia as soon as possible.”With this appointment, the head of state wanted to further stimulate the French international trade, as explained to the Serbian authorities,” the statement said.Ambassador Christine Moro, who was the French ambassador for three years (2014-2017), preceded Christophe Lecourtier in this position.

The pundits say that that President Macron was very pleased with how his visit to Serbia was organized and that Mr. Lecourtier’s new position in the Foreign Office was, in fact, a reward for his service. This summer, the French Embassy’s First Secretary, Maxime Reynaud, will also leave her position. France is the fifth major power to change ambassadors in Serbia this year, after China, the United Kingdom, the United States and Russia. Practically, all permanent members of the UN Security Council will send their new ambassadors to Belgrade in 2019. The Ambassador of China and the new Ambassador of Russia have already assumed their duties in Belgrade. As things are at the moment, experienced high-level diplomats were ap-pointed in all five cases, and this may indicate that this region will be in the focus of great powers in the next few years.

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