During the welcome ceremony to this port, led by Minister of Labor, Employment, Professional Training and Social Dialogue François Rebsamen, and Michel Vauzelle, President of the Regional Council of Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur, the Mexican president said that, “Mexico is a strong ally of France in the fight to mitigate the effects of global warming.

He subsequently announced: “We will support President François Hollande to ensure the success of the Twenty-First Conference of the Parties on Climate Change” to be held in this country in November this year.

He said it is the first time in 20 years that the Conference of the Parties has attempted to achieve binding agreements for all nations in reducing emissions.

He considered that this is a matter of utmost importance for the world, because to date the implementation of the agreements that have been reached is voluntary, and the aim now is for them to be mandatory and verifiable for the parties.

He said that during his state visit to this country, Mexico’s links with the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region are being strengthened and declared that, “Today, the aerospace industry is already a powerful link between us. Leading-edge French companies have been established in Mexico, including Airbus, which we will visit in a few minutes.”

President Enrique Peña Nieto said that, “This is a strategic partnership, with a forward-looking vision,” since the aerospace industry has become one of the most dynamic sectors in the economy in Mexico.

He said that in 2014, the aerospace industry exported over $6.3 billion USD, equivalent to a 26.3 percent increase over 2012.

He reported that there are currently over 300 aviation companies established in Mexico, equivalent to five times the number there were a decade ago. In fact, the president added, Mexico is the fourth largest investment destination for aerospace manufacturing.

He declared that, “Now, we want other companies in this innovative region to invest in Mexican soil and take advantage of the talent and creativity of our people.”

The president said he was honored to be the first Mexican president to visit Marseille officially, and said it is a city that has historically linked France with the life of the Mediterranean, in addition to being a region that is closely linked to Mexican history.

He recalled that distinguished settlers from this area, the Barcelonnettes, migrated to Mexico, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, “and through their hard work and effort, contributed to the progress of our nation.”

He said that, “The Barcelonnettes’ migration involved entrepreneurs, who created major factories and shops; several of which remain to this day.”
During the welcoming ceremony, held on the esplanade of the Mediterranean Villa, President Enrique Peña Nieto received military honors from a Foreign Legion and Mexican Navy band.

The Mexican President also unveiled a plaque commemorating his visit and signed the Golden Book of the Regional Council.

After the welcoming ceremony, the president held a private meeting with Michel Vauzelle, President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur Regional Council.

Afterwards, in the Mediterranean Villa, accompanied by French Minister of Labor François Rebsamen, he visited the “France-Mexico. Fragments of shared histories: from Barcelonnette to Mexico” exhibition. During the tour, he was given an explanation of the items on display by curator Hélène Homps.


As he welcomed President Enrique Peña Nieto, Michel Vauzelle, President of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d'Azur Regional Council, said that today, more than ever, France needs Mexico. He stated, “Together, Mexico and France will design together their common future in keeping with their own ideals and thus demonstrate their strength, our strength, in the world of tomorrow.”

He stressed that in this era of globalization, “We have the right and duty to build our own model in this period of financial, economic, social and even moral crisis.” Mexico and France, he declared, can introduce a new model.

He said that France is surrounded by living symbols of the glory of Mexico, which are also those of France, and as proof of this, he cited the training ship Cuauhtémoc, which, he said, “Is an answer, and there is Mexican youth, like yesterday in Paris, parading down the Champs Elysees, shoulder to shoulder with the French army.”

He added that in both Mexico and France, the spirit of resistance and relentless struggle against oppression is present, and explained that the Square of the Regional Council has been named after Gilberto Bosques, the Mexican hero who, through his immense bravery, saved countless victims of regimes such as Hitler’s.