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French President: Armenian Genocide recognition is an act of peace

 

In May 1915 France, Great Britain and Russia issued a joint declaration characterizing what was happening with the Armenian people as “a crime against humanity.” It was the first time when the notion of crimes against humanity and civilization entered the historical records, French President François Hollande said, according to Panorama.am.

Speaking during the centennial commemoration event at Tsitsernakaberd, the Armenian Genocide memorial, President Hollande noted that France accommodated a part of those surviving Armenians. “They were looking for a new homeland. And they courageously defended their new home when the Nazis attacked. They contributed to the prosperity of France after the WWII, at the same time preserving their memory and identity,” the president said.

Hollande reminded about those academicians, workers, doctors, artists, statesmen and community leaders, the French Armenians, who unite the two countries, such as Charles Aznavour, the pride of both countries.

“We acknowledge that the annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians a century ago resulted in emerging of the notion of genocide: Lemkin coined the term in 1944. France officially recognized the Armenian Genocide in 2011, and this was a necessary act of truth, since only truth is capable of relieving the pain, pacifying those who are alive, and honoring the perished,” Hollande said.
The President said that France is standing up against denialism, since doing otherwise would mean committing the atrocities again. He also condemned the terrorist acts taking place in the Middle East nowadays that result in deaths among Muslims and Christians, including Syrian Armenians.

He remarked that France wants to contribute to the reconciliation, too, since memory should be used not for dividing, but for reuniting.

The French President expressed hope that the Armenian-Turkish border will soon be opened. “The Armenian Genocide centennial is dedicated to peace for Armenia, the region and the whole world. The centennial is a call for peace and reconciliation… I reaffirm that France, along with all its partners, will do everything possible to reach peaceful settlements. This is Yerevan’s address – peace to all, peace to the memory of the victims, the memory of those who survived, to the Middle East and the whole region. The recognition of the Armenian Genocide is an act of peace,” Hollande concluded.


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