French battleships berth in Malaysia as part of Jeanne d’Arc mission

16-Apr-2018 Intellasia | The Malay Mail Online | 6:00 AM Print This Post

Frederic Laplanche, the French ambassador to Malaysia, today welcomed over 500 sailors to Malaysia at Port Klang as part of the French navy’s Jeanne d’Arc mission.

The tour arrived this morning on two battleships, Dixmude and frigate Surcouf, led by captain Jean Porcher and commander Christine Ribbe respectively.

The vessels and their crews will be in Kuala Lumpur for four days as part of the long-term operation.

A proud Laplanche said Malaysia is one of the main port calls for both ships.

“The defence relationship between France and Malaysia is extremely good. Over the past 20 to 30 years, we have developed a closer relationship in political links and defence,” he told reporters here.

“At this point in time, Malaysia is one of our closest partners in this region in South-east Asia.

“I am happy to see the French population here in Malaysia, which is usually 4,000 people, has jumped to 500 more due to the arrival of these two ships,” Laplanche added.

France and Malaysia have enjoyed a years-long relationship in the field of defence with the nations uniting to run tight security operations at seas.

Both come together in the fight against terrorism and piracy while ensuring to protect the freedom of navigation.

“We share a lot of common interests. We have a partnership that is strategic to the point we have annual joint high committees between our two ministers of defence,” said Laplanche.

“Our minister of defence was present here at the end of January for meetings with prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Defence minister and minister of Special Duties Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, a meeting which went very well.

“We keep our two armies, navies and air forces up to speed by sharing, by conducting exercises together. That’s the state of relationship,” he added.

The port call was also an opportunity for exchanges between the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) and French Navy.

The event was attended by rear-admiral of joint commander armed forces in French Polynesia Denis Bertrand and RMN inspector-general rear-admiral Ganesh Navaratnam.

Dixmude and Surcouf, measuring a vast 200m and 125m in length, set sail from Toulon in the south of France at the end of February and will continue to tour the world until the end of June. Indonesia is the next scheduled stop


Category: Malaysia

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