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The new Auld Alliance

IN recent times the outside world may have regarded the parties of the Auld Alliance more as auld acquaintances than mutually supportive partners, but it is good to see the relationship between Scotland and France brought to mind once more.

Yesterday Scotland's Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, was in Paris just two months after First Minister Alex Salmond and Bernard Emie, France's Ambassador to the UK, signed a pledge to encourage the expansion of existing cultural links and the development of new initiatives.

This agreement involves the two nations promoting cultural activities "on each party's territory aiming at highlighting the other party's creativity", supporting collaboration between artists and promoting partnerships between Scottish and French cultural institutions.

Ms Hyslop pointed to recent events involving France and Scotland, including the publication earlier this new year of a new Asterix book, Asterix and the Picts.

There is no magic potion but it is to be hoped the two governments have found a formula that will enrich the cultural experiences of all.

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Local government

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