Paris. France. President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday awarded His Highness the Aga Khan, the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour (La Grand-croix de la Légion d’honneur), in recognition of his contribution to humanity and achievements in improving the quality of life of the most vulnerable populations around the world.
France’s highest national medal of honour was bestowed upon the Aga Khan at a ceremony at le Quai d’Orsay by France’s Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, in commemoration of the Aga Khan’s Diamond Jubilee.
The Aga Khan is commemorating 60 years as Imam (spiritual leader) of the world’s Shia Ismaili Muslim community.
Mr Le Drian congratulated His Highness on his 60 years of commitment and dedication towards the cause of peace, pluralism and development.
“You are Sir, a man true to your commitments, a man of his word and a man of peace. And for all that you have accomplished in your life for our country, and for the stability of the world, France wishes tonight to warmly express its gratitude by elevating you to the dignity of the Grand Cross in the order of the Legion of Honour…on behalf of the President of the Republic, and by virtue of the powers conferred upon me, we bestow you the dignity of the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour,” said the minister in a statement.
The event was part of a two-day visit in honour of the Aga Khan’s life’s work. On September 18, President Macron received the Aga Khan at the Élysée Palace – the official office and residence of the President. The two leaders discussed development initiatives in parts of the world where the Imamat and France collaborate as well as regional issues of importance.
In expressing his deep gratitude for the honour bestowed upon him, the Aga Khan spoke about the importance he placed on a partnership he felt was built on shared values.
“For years, we have worked together in different fields, in France, abroad and always in a close partnership, of common points of view, of common objectives and, above all, respect for all the great values of France. For me this partnership is particularly important. It is a partnership built on historical values. And these historical values have proven themselves around the world. These are values of French origin, but which today are universal values,” he said.