The Élysée Palace is the official residence of the President of the French Republic. Completed in 1722, it was built for Louis Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, it was used as the office of the French President for the first time in 1848. The current building contains the presidential office and residency, as well as the meeting place of the Council of Ministers, it is located near the Champs-Élysées in the 8th arrondissement of Paris, the name Élysée deriving from Elysian Fields, the place of the blessed dead in Greek mythology. Important foreign visitors are hosted at a palatial residence; the architect Armand-Claude Molet possessed a property fronting on the road to the village of Roule, west of Paris, backing onto royal property, the Grand Cours through the Champs-Élysées. He sold this in 1718 to Louis Henri de La Tour d'Auvergne, Count of Évreux, with the agreement that Mollet would construct an hôtel particulier for the count, fronted by an entrance court and backed by a garden; the Hôtel d'Évreux was finished and decorated by 1722, though it has undergone many modifications since, it remains a fine example of the French classical style.
At the time of his death in 1753, Évreux was the owner of one of the most admired houses in Paris, it was bought by King Louis XV as a residence for the Marquise de Pompadour, his mistress. Opponents showed their distaste for the regime by hanging signs on the gates that read: "Home of the King's whore". After her death, it reverted to the crown. In 1773, it was purchased by Nicolas Beaujon, banker to the Court and one of the richest men in France, who needed a suitably sumptuous "country house" to house his fabulous collection of great masters paintings. To this end, he hired the architect Étienne-Louis Boullée to make substantial alterations to the buildings. Soon on display there were such well-known masterpieces as Holbein's The Ambassadors, Frans Hals' Bohemian, his architectural alterations and art galleries gave this residence international renown as "one of the premier houses of Paris". The palace and gardens were purchased from Beaujon by Bathilde d'Orléans, Duchess of Bourbon in 1787 for 1,300,000 livres.
It was the Duchess. She built a group of cottages in the gardens which she named the Hameau de Chantilly, after the Hameau at her father-in-law's Château de Chantilly. With the French Revolution, the Duchess fled the Élysée was confiscated, it was leased out. The gardens were used for eating and dancing, under the name Hameau de Chantilly. In 1803, the Élysée was sold to Joachim Murat, in 1808, to the Emperor, it became known as the Élysée-Napoléon. After the Battle of Waterloo, Napoléon returned to the Élysée, signed his abdication there on 22 June 1815, left the Élysée on the 25th. Russian Cossacks camped at the Élysée when they occupied Paris in 1814; the property was returned to its previous owner, the Duchesse de Bourbon, who sold it to her royal cousin, Louis XVIII, in 1816. Under the provisional government of the Second Republic, it took the name of the Élysée National and was designated the official residence of the President of the Republic. In 1853, following his coup d'état that ended the Second Republic, Napoléon III charged the architect Joseph-Eugène Lacroix with renovations.
Since Lacroix completed his work in 1867, the essential look of the Palais de l'Élysée has remained the same. In 1873, during the Third Republic, The Élysée became the official presidential residence. In 1899, Félix Faure became the only French President to die in the palace. In 1917, a chimpanzee escaped from a nearby ménagerie, entered the palace and was said to have tried to haul the wife of President Raymond Poincaré into a tree only to be foiled by Élysée guards. President Paul Deschanel, who resigned in 1920 because of mental illness, was said to have been so impressed by the chimpanzee's feat that, to the alarm of his guests, he took to jumping into trees during state receptions; the Élysée Palace was closed in June 1940, remained empty during World War II. It was reoccupied only in 1946 by Vincent Auriol, President of the provisional government first President of the Fourth Republic from 1947 to 1954. From 1959 to 1969, the Élysée was occupied by Charles de Gaulle, the first President of the Fifth Republic.
De Gaulle did not like its lack of privacy, oversaw the purchase of the luxurious Hôtel de Marigny to lodge foreign state officials in visits to France, saying, "I do not like the idea of meeting kings walking around my corridors in their pyjamas." In the 1970s, President Georges Pompidou had some of the original rooms in the palace redesigned by Pierre Paulin in the modern style, of which only the Salle à Manger Paulin survives. Socialist President François Mitterrand, who governed from 1981 to 1995, is said to have used its private apartments, preferring the privacy of his own home on the more bohemian Left Bank. A discreet flat in the nearby presidential annexe Palais de l'Alma housed his mistress Anne Pingeot, mo
National Order of Merit (France)
The National Order of Merit is a French order of merit with membership awarded by the President of the French Republic, founded on 3 December 1963 by President Charles de Gaulle. The reason for the order's establishment was twofold: to replace the large number of ministerial orders awarded by the ministries, it comprises about 187,000 members worldwide. The National Order of Merit replaced the following ministerial and colonial orders: Ordre de l'Étoile d'Anjouan Ordre du Nichan El-Anouar Ordre de l'Étoile Noire Ordre du Mérite social Ordre de la Santé publique Ordre du Mérite commercial et industriel Ordre du Mérite artisanal Ordre du Mérite touristique Ordre du Mérite combattant Ordre du Mérite postal Ordre de l'Économie nationale Ordre du Mérite sportif Ordre du Mérite du travail Ordre du Mérite militaire Ordre du Mérite civil Ordre du Mérite Saharien French citizens as well as foreign nationals and women, can be received into the order for distinguished military or civil achievements, though of a lesser level than that required for the award of the Legion of Honour.
The President of the French Republic is the Grand Master of the order and appoints all its members by convention on the advice of the Government of France. The order has a common Chancery with the Legion of Honour; every Prime Minister of France is made a Grand cross of the order after 24 months of service. The Order has five classes, the same as the Légion d’honneur: Three ranks: Knight: to be of a minimum age of 35, have a minimum of 10 years of public service, "distinguished merits" Officer: minimum of 5 years in the rank of Knight Commander: minimum of 5 years in the rank of Officer Two dignities: Grand Officer: minimum 3 years in the rank of Commander Grand Cross: minimum 3 years in the rank of Grand Officer Knight - wears the Medal on the left chest Officer - wears the Medal with rosette on the left chest Commander - wears the necklet on the neck for men and women Grand Officer - wears the Medal with rosette on the left chest, plus the Star on the right side of the stomach; the medal and the plaque of the Order were designed by the French sculptor Max Leognany.
The medal of the order is a six-armed Maltese asterisk in gilt enamelled blue, with laurel leaves between the arms. The obverse central disc features the head of Marianne, surrounded by the legend République française; the reverse central disc has a set of crossed tricolores, surrounded by the name of the order and its foundation date. The badge is suspended by a laurel wreath; the star is worn by Grand Officier respectively. The central disc features the head of Marianne, surrounded by the legend République française and the name of the Order, in turn surrounded by a wreath of laurel; the ribbon for the medal is a solid blue field. For the grade of Officier and above, a rosette is centered in the field. For the grades of Commandeur, Grand Officier, Grand-Croix, the rosette is centered bar of silver; the individuals listed below have been admitted as members of the National Order of Merit: List of Foreign recipients of the Ordre national du Mérite Order Ribbons of the French military and civil awards State decoration Sources France Phaléristique
Biblioteca Nacional de España
The Biblioteca Nacional de España is a major public library, the largest in Spain, one of the largest in the world. It is located on the Paseo de Recoletos; the library was founded by King Philip V in 1712 as the Palace Public Library. The Royal Letters Patent that he granted, the predecessor of the current legal deposit requirement, made it mandatory for printers to submit a copy of every book printed in Spain to the library. In 1836, the library's status as Crown property was revoked and ownership was transferred to the Ministry of Governance. At the same time, it was renamed the Biblioteca Nacional. During the 19th century, confiscations and donations enabled the Biblioteca Nacional to acquire the majority of the antique and valuable books that it holds. In 1892 the building was used to host the Historical American Exposition. On March 16, 1896, the Biblioteca Nacional opened to the public in the same building in which it is housed and included a vast Reading Room on the main floor designed to hold 320 readers.
In 1931 the Reading Room was reorganised, providing it with a major collection of reference works, the General Reading Room was created to cater for students and general readers. During the Spanish Civil War close to 500,000 volumes were collected by the Confiscation Committee and stored in the Biblioteca Nacional to safeguard works of art and books held until in religious establishments and private houses. During the 20th century numerous modifications were made to the building to adapt its rooms and repositories to its expanding collections, to the growing volume of material received following the modification to the Legal Deposit requirement in 1958, to the numerous works purchased by the library. Among this building work, some of the most noteworthy changes were the alterations made in 1955 to triple the capacity of the library's repositories, those started in 1986 and completed in 2000, which led to the creation of the new building in Alcalá de Henares and complete remodelling of the building on Paseo de Recoletos, Madrid.
In 1986, when Spain's main bibliographic institutions - the National Newspaper Library, the Spanish Bibliographic Institute and the Centre for Documentary and Bibliographic Treasures - were incorporated into the Biblioteca Nacional, the library was established as the State Repository of Spain's Cultural Memory, making all of Spain's bibliographic output on any media available to the Spanish Library System and national and international researchers and cultural and educational institutions. In 1990 it was made an Autonomous Entity attached to the Ministry of Culture; the Madrid premises are shared with the National Archaeological Museum. The Biblioteca Nacional is Spain's highest library institution and is head of the Spanish Library System; as the country's national library, it is the centre responsible for identifying, preserving and disseminating information about Spain's documentary heritage, it aspires to be an essential point of reference for research into Spanish culture. In accordance with its Articles of Association, passed by Royal Decree 1581/1991 of October 31, 1991, its principal functions are to: Compile and conserve bibliographic archives produced in any language of the Spanish state, or any other language, for the purposes of research and information.
Promote research through the study and reproduction of its bibliographic archive. Disseminate information on Spain's bibliographic output based on the entries received through the legal deposit requirement; the library's collection consists of more than 26,000,000 items, including 15,000,000 books and other printed materials, 4,500,000 graphic materials, 600,000 sound recordings, 510,000 music scores, more than 500,000 microforms, 500,000 maps, 143,000 newspapers and serials, 90,000 audiovisuals, 90,000 electronic documents, 30,000 manuscripts. The current director of the Biblioteca Nacional is Ana Santos Aramburo, appointed in 2013. Former directors include her predecessors Glòria Pérez-Salmerón and Milagros del Corral as well as historian Juan Pablo Fusi and author Rosa Regàs. Given its role as the legal deposit for the whole of Spain, since 1991 it has kept most of the overflowing collection at a secondary site in Alcalá de Henares, near Madrid; the Biblioteca Nacional provides access to its collections through the following library services: Guidance and general information on the institution and other libraries.
Bibliographic information about its collection and those held by other libraries or library systems. Access to its automated catalogue, which contains close to 3,000,000 bibliographic records encompassing all of its collections. Archive consultation in the library's reading rooms. Interlibrary loans. Archive reproduction. Biblioteca Digital Hispánica, digital library launched in 2008 by the Biblioteca Nacional de España List of libraries in Spain Media related to Biblioteca Nacional de España at Wikimedia Commons Official site Official web catalog
Diplomatic immunity is a form of legal immunity that ensures diplomats are given safe passage and are considered not susceptible to lawsuit or prosecution under the host country's laws, but they can still be expelled. Modern diplomatic immunity was codified as international law in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, ratified by all but a handful of nations; the concept and custom of diplomatic immunity dates back thousands of years. Many principles of diplomatic immunity are now considered to be customary law. Diplomatic immunity was developed to allow for the maintenance of government relations, including during periods of difficulties and armed conflict; when receiving diplomats, who formally represent the sovereign, the receiving head of state grants certain privileges and immunities to ensure they may carry out their duties, on the understanding that these are provided on a reciprocal basis. These privileges and immunities were granted on a bilateral, ad hoc basis, which led to misunderstandings and conflict, pressure on weaker states, an inability for other states to judge which party was at fault.
An international agreement known as the Vienna Convention codified the rules and agreements, providing standards and privileges to all states. It is possible for the official's home country to waive immunity. However, many countries refuse to waive immunity as a matter of course. Alternatively, the home country may prosecute the individual. If immunity is waived by a government so that a diplomat can be prosecuted, it must be because there is a case to answer and it is in the public interest to prosecute them. For instance, in 2002, a Colombian diplomat in London was prosecuted for manslaughter, once diplomatic immunity was waived by the Colombian government; the concept of diplomatic immunity can be found in ancient Indian epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata, where messengers and diplomats were given immunity from capital punishment. In Ramayana, when the demon king Ravana ordered the killing of Hanuman, Ravana's younger brother Vibhishana pointed out that messengers or diplomats should not be killed, as per ancient practices.
During the evolution of international justice, many wars were considered rebellions or unlawful by one or more combatant sides. In such cases, the servants of the "criminal" sovereign were considered accomplices and their persons violated. In other circumstances, harbingers of inconsiderable demands were killed as a declaration of war. Herodotus records that when heralds of the Persian king Xerxes demanded "earth and water" of Greek cities, the Athenians threw them into a pit and the Spartans threw them down a well for the purpose of suggesting they would find both earth and water at the bottom, these being mentioned by the messenger as a threat of siege; however for Herodotus, this maltreatment of envoys is a crime. He recounts a story of divine vengeance befalling Sparta for this deed. A Roman envoy was urinated on; the oath of the envoy, "This stain will be washed away with blood!", was fulfilled during the Second Punic War. The arrest and ill-treatment of the envoy of Raja Raja Chola by the king of Kulasekhara dynasty, now part of modern India, led to the naval Kandalur War in AD 994.
The Islamic prophet Muhammad sent and received envoys and forbade harming them. This practice was continued by the Rashidun caliphs who exchanged diplomats with the Ethiopians and the Byzantines; this diplomatic exchange continued during the Arab–Byzantine wars. Classical Sharia called for hospitality to be shown towards anyone, granted amān. Amān was granted to any emissary bearing a letter or another sealed document; the duration of the amān was a year. Envoys with this right of passage were given immunity of property, they were exempt from taxation. As diplomats by definition enter the country under safe-conduct, violating them is viewed as a great breach of honor, although there have been numerous cases in which diplomats have been killed. Genghis Khan and the Mongols were well known for insisting on the rights of diplomats, they would take terrifying vengeance against any state that violated these rights; the Mongols would raze entire cities in retaliation for the execution of their ambassadors, invaded and destroyed the Khwarezmid Empire after their ambassadors had been mistreated.
The British Parliament first guaranteed diplomatic immunity to foreign ambassadors in 1709, after Count Andrey Matveyev, a Russian resident in London, had been subjected to verbal and physical abuse by British bailiffs. Modern diplomatic immunity evolved parallel to the development of modern diplomacy. In the 17th century, European diplomats realized that protection from prosecution was essential to doing their jobs, a set of rules evolved guaranteeing the rights of diplomats; these were still confined to Western Europe and were tied to the prerogatives of nobility. Thus, an emissary to the Ottoman Empire could expect to be arrested and imprisoned upon the outbreak of hostilities between his state and the empire; the French Revolution disrupted this system, as the revolutionary state and Napoleon imprisoned numerous dip
Florida State University
Florida State University is a public space-grant and sea-grant research university in Tallahassee, Florida. It is a senior member of the State University System of Florida. Founded in 1851, it is located on the oldest continuous site of higher education in the state of Florida; the university is classified as a Research University with Very High Research by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university comprises 16 separate colleges and more than 110 centers, facilities and institutes that offer more than 360 programs of study, including professional school programs; the university has an annual budget of over $1.7 billion and an annual economic impact of over $10 billion. Florida State is home to Florida's only National Laboratory, the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, is the birthplace of the commercially viable anti-cancer drug Taxol. Florida State University operates The John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art, the State Art Museum of Florida and one of the largest museum/university complexes in the nation.
The university is accredited by the Southern Association of Schools. For 2019, U. S. News & World Report ranked Florida State as the 26th best public university in the United States in the national university category. Florida State University is one of Florida's three state-designated "preeminent universities." FSU's intercollegiate sports teams known by their "Florida State Seminoles" nickname, compete in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I and the Atlantic Coast Conference. In their 113-year history, Florida State's varsity sports teams have won 20 national athletic championships and Seminole athletes have won 78 individual NCAA national championships. In 1819 the Florida Territory was ceded to the United States by Spain as an element of the Adams–Onís Treaty; the Territory was conventionally split by the Appalachicola or the Suwannee rivers into East and West areas. Florida State University is traceable to a plan set by the 1823 U. S. Congress to create a system of higher education.
The 1838 Florida Constitution codified the basic system by providing for land allocated for the schools. In 1845 Florida became the 27th State of the United States, which permitted the resources and intent of the 1823 Congress regarding education in Florida to be implemented; the Legislature of the State of Florida, in a Legislative Act of January 24, 1851, provided for the establishment of the two institutions of learning on opposite sides of the Suwannee River. The Legislature declared the purpose of these institutions to be "the instruction of persons, both male and female, in the art of teaching all the various branches that pertain to a good common school education. By 1854 the City of Tallahassee had established a school for boys called the Florida Institute, with the hope that the State could be induced to take it over as one of the seminaries. In 1856, Tallahassee Mayor Francis W. Eppes again offered the Institute's land and building to the Legislature; the bill to locate the Seminary in Tallahassee passed both houses and was signed by the Governor on January 1, 1857.
On February 7, 1857, the first meeting of the Board of Education of the State Seminary West of the Suwannee River was held, the institution began offering post-secondary instruction to male students. Francis Eppes served as President of the Seminary's Board of Education for eight years. In 1858 the seminary absorbed the Tallahassee Female Academy, established in 1843, became coeducational; the West Florida Seminary was located on the former Florida Institute property, a hill where the historic Westcott Building now stands. The location is the oldest continuously used site of higher education in Florida; the area west of the state Capitol and ominously known as Gallows Hill, a place for public executions in early Tallahassee. In 1860–61 the legislature started formal military training at the school with a law amending the original 1851 statute. During the Civil War, the seminary became The Florida Collegiate Institute. Enrollment at the school increased to around 250 students with the school establishing itself as the largest and most respected educational institution in the state.
Cadets from the school defeated Union forces at the Battle of Natural Bridge in 1865, leaving Tallahassee as the only Confederate capital east of the Mississippi River not to fall to Union forces. The students were trained by Valentine Mason Johnson, a graduate of Virginia Military Institute, a professor of mathematics and the chief administrator of the college. After the fall of the Confederacy, campus buildings were occupied by Union military forces for four months and the West Florida Seminary reverted to its former academic purpose. In recognition of the cadets, their pivotal role in the battle, the Florida State University Army ROTC cadet corps displays a battle streamer bearing the words "NATURAL BRIDGE 1865" with its flag; the FSU Army ROTC is one of only four collegiate military units in the United States with permission to display such a pennant. In 1883 the institution, now long known as the West Florida Seminary, was organized by the Board of Education as The Literary College of the University of Florida.
The legislative act passed in 1885, bestowing upon the institution the title of the University of Florida, has never been repealed. Under the new university charter, the seminary became the institution's Literary College, was to contain several "schools" or departments in different disciplines. However, in the new university association the seminary'
Alma mater is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one attended. In US usage it can mean the school from which one graduated; the phrase is variously translated as "nourishing mother", "nursing mother", or "fostering mother", suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students. Fine arts will depict educational institutions using a robed woman as a visual metaphor. Before its current usage, alma mater was an honorific title for various Latin mother goddesses Ceres or Cybele, in Catholicism for the Virgin Mary, it entered academic usage when the University of Bologna adopted the motto Alma Mater Studiorum, which describes its heritage as the oldest operating university in the Western world. It is related to alumnus, a term used for a university graduate that means a "nursling" or "one, nourished". Although alma was a common epithet for Ceres, Cybele and other mother goddesses, it was not used in conjunction with mater in classical Latin. In the Oxford Latin Dictionary, the phrase is attributed to Lucretius' De rerum natura, where it is used as an epithet to describe an earth goddess: After the fall of Rome, the term came into Christian liturgical usage in association with the Virgin Mary.
"Alma Redemptoris Mater" is a well-known 11th century antiphon devoted to Mary. The earliest documented use of the term to refer to a university in an English-speaking country is in 1600, when the University of Cambridge printer, John Legate, began using an emblem for the university's press; the device's first-known appearance is on the title-page of William Perkins' A Golden Chain, where the Latin phrase Alma Mater Cantabrigia is inscribed on a pedestal bearing a nude, lactating woman wearing a mural crown. In English etymological reference works, the first university-related usage is cited in 1710, when an academic mother figure is mentioned in a remembrance of Henry More by Richard Ward. Many historic European universities have adopted Alma Mater as part of the Latin translation of their official name; the University of Bologna Latin name, Alma Mater Studiorum, refers to its status as the oldest continuously operating university in the world. Other European universities, such as the Alma Mater Lipsiensis in Leipzig, Germany, or Alma Mater Jagiellonica, have used the expression in conjunction with geographical or foundational characteristics.
At least one, the Alma Mater Europaea in Salzburg, Austria, an international university founded by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2010, uses the term as its official name. In the United States, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, has been called the "Alma Mater of the Nation" because of its ties to the country's founding. At Queen's University in Kingston and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, the main student government is known as the Alma Mater Society; the ancient Roman world had many statues of the Alma Mater, some still extant. Modern sculptures are found in prominent locations on several American university campuses. For example, in the United States: there is a well-known bronze statue of Alma Mater by Daniel Chester French situated on the steps of Columbia University's Low Library. An altarpiece mural in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, painted in 1932 by Eugene Savage, depicts the Alma Mater as a bearer of light and truth, standing in the midst of the personified arts and sciences.
Outside the United States, there is an Alma Mater sculpture on the steps of the monumental entrance to the Universidad de La Habana, in Havana, Cuba. The statue was cast in 1919 by Mario Korbel, with Feliciana Villalón Wilson as the inspiration for Alma Mater, it was installed in its current location in 1927, at the direction of architect Raul Otero. Media related to Alma mater at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of alma mater at Wiktionary Alma Mater Europaea website
Dominique de Villepin
Dominique Marie François René Galouzeau de Villepin is a French politician who served as Prime Minister of France from 31 May 2005 to 17 May 2007 under President Jacques Chirac. A career working at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, De Villepin rose through the ranks of the French right as one of Chirac's protégés, he came into the international spotlight as Minister of Foreign Affairs with his opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq, one year after his appointment to the office, which culminated with a speech to the United Nations. Before his tenure as Prime Minister, he served as Minister of the Interior. After being replaced by François Fillon as Prime Minister, De Villepin was indicted in connection with the Clearstream affair, but was subsequently cleared of charges of complicity in allowing false accusations to proceed against presidential rival Nicolas Sarkozy regarding bribes paid on a sale of warships to Taiwan. De Villepin has enjoyed a modest return to public favour for his public critique of President Sarkozy's style of "imperial rule."He has written poetry, a book about poetry, several historical and political essays, along with a study of Napoleon.
Villepin is an honorary member of the International Raoul Wallenberg Foundation. Villepin was born in Rabat and spent some time in Venezuela, where his family lived for four years, he lived in the U. S. and has said that he “grew up in the United States.” During his teenage years, “the'Beat generation' movement left its mark on me, so did the hippie movement.” He was inspired by other American poets. He graduated from the Lycée Français de New York in 1971, he has three children: Marie and Victoire. Contrary to what his surname suggests, Villepin is not from an aristocratic background but from a middle-class family, his ancestors added the particle "de" to the family name. His great-grandfather was a colonel in the French army, his grandfather was a board member for several companies, his father Xavier de Villepin was a diplomat and a member of the Senate. Villepin speaks French and Spanish; when his mother died, Villepin gave a eulogy “full of the grandest and most sonorous cadences of the French language,” wrote The Independent in 2010.
He “spoke of his mother's passionate belief in the greatness and the destiny of France, implicitly, the greatness and destiny of her son.” One mourner stated that he seemed to speak “of France and of himself as being the same thing.” Villepin studied at the Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris and went on to the École nationale d'administration, France's selective post-graduate school which trains its top civil servants. Villepin holds degrees in Civil law and French literature from the universities of Panthéon-Assas and Paris X Nanterre. At the end of his studies, he completed his military service as a naval officer on board the Aircraft Carrier Clemenceau. Villepin entered a career in diplomacy, his assignments were: Advising Committee on African affairs The French embassy in Washington, D. C. as premier secrétaire until 1987 and deuxième conseiller The embassy in New Delhi, as deuxième conseiller until 1990 and premier conseiller Foreign Ministry's top adviser on Africa Villepin was introduced to Jacques Chirac in the early 1980s and became one of his advisers on foreign policy.
In 1993 he became chief of staff of Alain Juppé, the Foreign Minister in Édouard Balladur's cabinet, Chirac's political heir apparent. Villepin became director of Chirac's successful 1995 presidential campaign and was rewarded with the key job of Secretary-General of the Élysée Palace during Chirac's first term as President of the Republic, he advised the president to hold an early general election in 1997, while the French National Assembly was overwhelmingly dominated by the president's party. This was a risky gamble, Chirac's party went on to lose the elections. Villepin offered Chirac his resignation afterwards. Villepin's flawed advice on the election increased the perception among many politicians on the right that Villepin had no experience or understanding of grassroots politics, owed his enviable position only to being Chirac's protégé. Villepin has had an uneasy relationship with the members of his own political side, he has in the past made a number of demeaning remarks about members of parliament from his own party.
In addition, the mutual distaste between Villepin and Nicolas Sarkozy, head of the Union for a Popular Movement majority party, is well known. He was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs by Chirac in the cabinet of Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin at the beginning of Chirac's second term in 2002. During the 2004 coup d'état in Haiti, Villepin obtained the backing of the United States Secretary of State, Colin Powell, in his bid to oust Jean-Bertrand Aristide from power. Villepin's most famous assignment as Chirac's foreign minister was opposing the U. S. plan to invade Iraq, giving France a leading role in the grouping of countries such as Germany, Belgium and China that opposed the invasion. The speech he gave to the UN to block a second resolution allowing the use of force against Saddam Hussein's regime received loud applause. During mid-2003 Villepin organized the Opération 14 juillet that attempted to rescue his former student, Ingrid Betancourt, being held by FARC rebels in Colombia.
The operation failed, because he had neither informed Colombia, nor President Chirac of the mission, it resulted in a political scandal. During the cabinet reshuffle that made Nicolas Sarkozy Finance Minister, Villepin was appointed to