04, 2021

During the war, unleashed against Artsakh by Azerbaijan and Turkey, your historic decision was a manifestation of immense will and courage. President Sarkissian awarded the President of the French Senate and a group of senators

By the decrees of the President of the Republic of Armenia, for the significant contribution to the strengthening and development of the Armenian-French friendly relations, Gérard Larcher, the President of the French Senate, was awarded the Order of Honour, and a group of deputies of the French Senate the Order of Friendship.

Today, President Armen Sarkissian presented state awards at the Presidential Residence and thanked the French parliamentarians.

"Armenian-French relations are a history of centuries-old friendship, a history that we will never forget, a history that we remember well, and a history that we highly appreciate, " the Armenian President said in his speech. - A history that began centuries ago with brilliant examples, with the brilliant history of the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia, the Kingdom of France, and the French-speaking Jerusalem.

We will never forget that after the Armenian Genocide, thousands of Armenians found the haven of their salvation in France. We remember very well that during the Second World War many, Armenians fought against fascism not only in the Soviet army but also in the French army and, especially, in the French Resistance. And our compatriot Misak Manushyan is a brilliant example of that.

We remember well that after the Second World War, thousands of our compatriots returned home from France, bringing with them not only their families but also their love, culture, professionalism, and eternal connection with France, strengthening the Armenian-French friendship.

We remember well that from the first days of Armenia's independence, from the first days of the Karabakh movement, we had the support of our French friends.

For you to have a good idea of ​​the influence of French culture, I will not exemplify it by Charles Aznavour, Henri Verneuil, and others, but I will just say that in the first years of independence when the First Constitution of the independent Republic of Armenia was discussed, everybody had the Constitution of the French Republic in minds. There could not be a better sign of friendship.

We remember very well that twenty years ago, on the initiative of President Chirac, France recognized the 1915 Armenian Genocide as the first genocide of the 20th century. We remember very well that French President Hollande was with us on the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

We know very well, and we remember that only three years ago, on the initiative of French President Macron, this day, April 24, is considered the Day of Remembrance of the Genocide in France.

We remember very well and appreciate, dear colleagues, your historic decision during the war unleashed by Azerbaijan and Turkey against Artsakh last year, in particular, to offer the French government to recognize the Artsakh Republic. It was not only a historic decision but also a decision to shows your attitude to the self-determination of nations in general, the ideas of freedom, and the Armenian-French friendship. I would say this was also a manifestation of immense will and courage on the part of the Senate. As the President of the Republic and an Armenian, I would like to express my deep gratitude to each of you, in your person President Macron, and all your colleagues. Armenia, Artsakh, and all our people will always remember, and never forget your honest decision, and deed.

I highly appreciate the letter sent to me by the President of the French Republic yesterday. His letter is a very warm and fraternal-friendly appraise of our relations, the proof of the centuries-old friendship between the two peoples. It also testifies that the President of the French Republic, the Senate and the French people deeply feel the pain of our nation, the Armenian Genocide.

I highly appreciate this visit. You are with us today, on the day of remembrance of the most tragic event for our people; you share with us not only the pain of loss but also the belief that our people, like you, have the will and determination to overcome not only 106 years of misery but also the consequences of the last year's war."

Gérard Larcher, the President of the Senate of the French Republic, thanked for receiving the Order envisaged for the friends of Armenia. "This award reflects the best relations between our peoples and our countries," he said, "This is the only Order manufactured in Paris Mint; in the centre is Ararat, the most important symbol, which is specific. It is a landmark of values, a place where life began after great tragedies. Ararat, which symbolizes Armenia, also symbolizes the rebirth after tragedies."

Gérard Larcher recalled that twenty years ago, when on the initiative of President Jacques Chirac, a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide was discussed in the French Senate, political forces, despite political differences, were unanimous in voting. "It was not only a manifestation of our desires but also an expression of our will, and we expressed that will through a resolution," he said, "We also want to go the way of recognizing Nagorno-Karabakh."

The President of the French Senate emphasized that after the visit to Armenia, they will deliver a message to the Minsk Group Co-Chairs. "We believe that Russia, the United States, and France should be able to offer a way of lasting and steady peace. Today is April 24, a day of remembrance for you, but this year has a special meaning as well. Today, we visited the Soldier's House and saw young people who had been wounded in the war. Looking at them, we see that there is no other way than the way to peace, " said Gerard Larcher, “This morning, we visited the Genocide Memorial, which shows the inhuman nature of humanity. In our pluralism, we want to become bearers of the all-human approach of France, and this all-human approach is our brotherhood, our friendship."

After the awarding ceremony, the President of the Republic Armen Sarkissian met with the delegation of Gérard Larcher and the French Senate. Issues related to the development of the Armenian-French bilateral relations, the strengthening of the ties between the parliaments of the two countries, and the expansion of cooperation within the framework of the International Organization of La Francophonie were discussed.


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