South of Scotland MSP Aileen McLeod has welcomed the signing of the formal twinning agreement between Newton Stewart and the French town of Marcoussis.
The ceremony took place at a civic reception to mark the occasion at the McMillan Hall in Newton Stewart on Friday night. The agreement was signed by the Mayor of Marcoussis and the chairman of Cree Valley Community Council.
Commenting after the reception, Dr McLeod, who tabled a motion in parliament to mark the visit, said: “Friday night’s reception was a great success and the warm Galloway welcome that the French guests received was an example of this region at its very best.
“I know that a great deal of hard work has been done over the past few years to get to this point and it is a tribute to the efforts of the Newton Stewart and District Town Twinning Association that we have seen everything now come to fruition.
“Special thanks must go to members of the association and in particular to its chairman, Meta Maltman, who has been a real champion of the twinning process. It was also great to have the chance to meet with some of the delegation from Marcoussis, whom I had last met during their previous visit to Newton Stewart in May 2011.
“Twinning is, of course, about much more than having a new road sign. It can open up fantastic education, cultural, economic, trade and lots of other opportunities for both partners. It helps to build links between us and our European neighbours and encourages young people in particular to have broad horizons and be ambitious.
“I very much hope that last week’s visit is the start of a long and fruitful relationship and friendship between Newton Stewart and Marcoussis, and one which will be a lasting success.”