French President Emmanuel Macron Pledges to Add Armenian Genocide Commemoration Day to French Calendar

Emmanuel Macron was the guest, Tuesday evening, at the dinner of the Coordination Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF). The French president  promised to include a Day of Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in the calendar. It was a campaign promise, AFP reported.

“The fight for justice and recognition is our fight, we are leading it by memory by supporting the Republican calendar of a day for the commemoration of the genocide,” said the head of state, who stressed that it was “essential that the national representation recovers from this subject in the coming months”.

Emmanuel Macron, who will visit Armenia in October at the Francophonie Summit in Yerevan, was the guest of honor at this dinner hosted by André Manoukian, which brought together 500 people from the Armenian community in a Paris hotel. Also present were the Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo, the President of the Île-de-France region Valérie Pécresse, the French elected officials of Armenian origin as Patrick Devedjian or the Mayor of Lyon Georges Képénékian, the Turkish deputy of Armenian origin Garo Paylan (HDP), as well as Jewish community leaders.

CCAF Co-Chairs Ara Toranian and Mourad Papazian asked Emmanuel Macron to condemn Turkey, which they accused of threatening minorities, including Armenians, and also urged him to visit Nagorno-Karabakh.

“On Turkey, I engaged in a regular and demanding dialogue with President Erdogan, sometimes safe from the media,” replied the head of state. “On terrorism, the migration crisis,” we need allies, including those who do not share our values,” he said.

The president defended his policy of dialogue with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, whom he received at the Elysee Palace in early January, as well as his neutrality in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “I will not accompany you to Karabakh” because “I will lose all the use France has done for this conflict as a mediator.”

“I hope to come with you the day we have settled all this,” he concluded, to applause.

France “supports the courageous voices that rise,” the President argued. He warmly greeted Garo Paylan, whom he promised to support “so that his voice can win.”