French President Emmanuel Macron expressed his support for the establishment of the Paris branch of Wat Phra Chetuphon Wimon Mangkhalaram.
President Macron greeted Somdet Phra Maha Theerajarn, the abbot of Wat Phra Chetuphon, also known as Wat Pho, at the Elysee Palace, his official residence, on Thursday.
The chief monk is on a formal visit to France to inaugurate the Wat Pho Paris temple, with a commencement ceremony scheduled for the following day, to be chaired by Somdet Phra Maha Theerajarn.
The meeting with Mr. Macron included the presence of Phra Sri Wichira Thamwithet, the Sangha leader of Wat Pho Paris, and Boonyarit Vichienpuntu, the interim ambassador from the Royal Thai Embassy in Paris.
Their conversation, lasting about 45 minutes, primarily centered on the growth of Buddhism in Thailand and the adaptation of Buddhist principles to enhance global peace, as reported by a source.
The chief monk expressed his gratitude towards Mr. Macron’s governance initiatives and perspectives, while the French president affirmed his support for the establishment of Wat Pho Paris.
Mr. Macron mentioned his visit to Wat Pho the previous year during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit in Bangkok.
Wat Pho Paris, located at Rue de Rimoron, 91650 Breux-Jouy, aims to further Buddhism in France and also commemorate 333 years of harmonious relations between Thailand and France, according to the source.
Additionally, Wat Pho Paris will serve as a center for teaching Dhamma and promoting peace.