Francois Hollande Attends Annual Dinner with French Armenians
PARIS, France (ArmRadio)—French President Francois Hollande attended an annual dinner with the Coordinating Council of the Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF).
In his last dinner with CCAF in the capacity of the President of France, Francois Hollande referred to the decision of the Constitutional Council to revoke certain amendments to the Equality and Citizenship Act, including those related to the criminalization of genocide denial, Nouvelles d’Armenie reports.
“To deny the massacres of yesterday is to authorize the massacres of today,” Hollande said. “I welcome the quality of the work of Jean-Paul Costa, which was the basis for an amendment during the debate on the Equality and Citizenship Act,” said Francois Hollande, and stressed that “it is necessary to continue to act.” He described it as “a fight for truth, not for a cause.”
He then announced that a mission was launched last October by France’s Minister of Education Najat Vallaud-Belkacem and chaired by Vincent Duclert to look for measures to “institute a day of National commemoration of all genocides, war crimes and thus the Armenian genocide.”
Hollande said Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian will visit Paris next month. “2017 marks the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and Armenia. I invited President Sargsyan to pay an official visit to Paris. It will take place on March 8, Women’s Day. It will provide an opportunity to discuss economic, cultural and academic co-operation, to hold discussions on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, because France has a special responsibility.”
Lastly, he stressed the contribution of the French Armenians to the Republic. “We are here to talk about the best of France. Because you are the best of France,” he told Armenians.
“Even beyond the month of May, I will always be at your side, as I have always been. I will not have the same responsibility, but I will have the same conviction,” Francois Hollande concluded.
Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, announced during the dinner her intentions of awarding Garo Paylan, Armenian member of the Turkish Parliament, with the Medal of City of Paris.
In her speech, Hidalgo also commented on her visit to Armenia saying “It’s very rare for me to have such a clear feeling of true identical culture in another city.” At the same time, she stressed she is stunned by the modernity of Yerevan, namely by her visit to TUMO center. “Upon departing, I thought what can Paris give to Yerevan, upon returning I thought how can Yerevan convey its innovative ideas and dynamics to Paris,” Hidalgo said.
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