Jean-François Pactet, the French Ambassador to Sri Lanka and the Maldives, passed away at his official residence in Rajagiriya, Sri Lanka, on Sunday. The 53-year-old ambassador had been serving in this role since October 2022. His untimely demise has led to an outpouring of condolences from diplomats as well as senior government officials.

Foreign Minister Moosa Zameer, in a message to Stéphane Séjourné, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, underscored the profound impact of Ambassador Pactet’s role in Maldives-France relations.

“Ambassador Pactet will be remembered as a dear friend of the Maldives, who tirelessly worked to strengthen the robust relations between the Maldives and France,” said Zameer in his message.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the ambassador’s family and loved ones. I extend my sincere condolences to all members of the French Embassy in Colombo, and to the French diplomatic service.”

Abdulla Shahid, President of the opposition Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), also extended his condolences, reminiscing about Ambassador Pactet’s dedication and determination in cementing the longstanding ties between the Maldives and France.

“I had the pleasure of meeting Ambassador Pactet when he presented his credentials to President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih in February 2023,” said Shahid, who served as the foreign minister under the Solih administration. “We will fondly remember his exemplary dedication and determination in cementing the longstanding ties between Maldives and France.”

Ambassador Pactet, born in 1970, was a veteran diplomat with an extensive career in the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He served as Deputy Director of Culture and Education, managed the ministry’s policies on global health, gender equality, and education, worked at the French Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the French Permanent Representation to NATO in Brussels, and served as Deputy Spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.