Meeting with Jean-François Copé

In our second meeting with him in just over a year, on October 27, Jean-François Copé, close ally of President Nicolas Sarkozy and UMP secretary general, provided insights and blunt commentary on the looming presidential election next spring, and on why he thought there was little if any debate here on France's foreign policy. We met at UMP headquarters over breakfast, almost entirely…


AAPA Mourns Peter Stephens

Peter Stephens, a long-time Daily Mirror Paris bureau chief and one of the towering figures of the post-World War II foreign press corps, died at his home in the 16th arrondissement on Sept.30. A former president of the AAPA, he was 92. Born inEnglandin 1919, Peter first became fascinated byFrancewhen he arrived with the British Army during World War II. He had been training to be a doctor when…


AAPA meets with Arab League Envoy

The burning issues affecting Arab countries and the ongoing diplomatic ballet over the Palestinian question in the United Nations were among the key issues discussed between Arab League Ambassador to France Nassif Hitti and AAPA members over breakfast at the Procope Oct.  4. Hitti, a veteran diplomat and a multicultural academic, shed light on the complicated and often labyrinthine mechanisms…


Israel's Ambassador, Yossi Gal

Israel's ambassador to France, Yossi Gal, provided some twenty members on Sept. 8 with some frank, defensive, explanatory series of insights on some of the most sensitive issues facing his country and the international community. The breakfast meeting, hosted by the Israeli Embassy, covered French-Israeli relations, the controversial Palestinian move for recognition at the UN later this month;…


John D. Panitza

We are sad to announce that John D. Panitza, former Managing Editor of Reader’s Digest and a long-time member of AAPA, died in Paris on July 28 at the age of 80 after a long struggle with cancer.   “Dimi,” as he was known to all, worked for the Digest for 42 years, most of them as head of its European Editorial Office in Paris, which produced articles for the magazine’s numerous editions around…


AAPA meets Palestine's Envoy

The stalled Middle East peace process and its implications for the Palestinian people were the main topics discussed when Palestinian ambassador to France, Hael Al-Fahoum, met with the AAPA on June 23 at the Palestinian mission. Over a lengthy breakfast, Al-Fahoum, a veteran diplomat and PLO insider since the late 1970s, explained his concerns for the region and discussed potential strategies for…


Sun Shines For AAPA's Annual Gala

Our annual spring gala held at the British Embassy residence this year on June 1 had all the necessary ingredients for a successful event: a wonderful setting, a brace of top-level diplomats, fantastic weather, high-caliber guests and great catering. Nearly 100 members and their guests listened as our host and honorary co-president, British Ambassador Peter Westmacott made us feel at home with…


Kouchner Opens Up to the AAPA

Relaxed and extraordinarily frank, former foreign minister Bernard Kouchner willingly answered the central question put to him at a meeting with the AAPA on May 9: What's it like being a leftist minister in a Sarkozy government? "He decides - everything. Delegates all" to those responsible for domestic and particularly foreign policy, he said, noting the four "regal" ministries that count most…


BHL meets the AAPA

French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy met with the AAPA on April 6th. Levy, better known by his initials, BHL, strode casually into the Bloomberg conference room… dressed in his usual attire – a black suit and collarless white shirt. He was very relaxed throughout the meeting, or perhaps it was jetlag. He had just returned from New York that morning. Levy is quite the statesman these days. He…


The Association's Author's Night

The Association's Author's Night on March 28 filled John Morris' loft with people eager to learn what inspires authors and how they get their books published. The speakers were a brochette of AAPA member-authors, including Christopher Dickey, Peter Gumbel, David Pike, John Morris, Don Morrison, Anne-Elisabeth Moutet, Alan Riding, Harriet Welty Rochefort and Gerry Dryansky, with a collective…