01, 2018

Address by President Serzh Sargsyan during reception held at Paris Mayor’s Office

Dear Mayor, dear friend of the Armenian people,
Dear Compatriots,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am glad to be here again at the Paris City Hall, which can be a credit to any country in the world with rich cultural heritage. Indeed, it is exciting for me to address my compatriots at a venue where the history of Paris, one of the most picturesque cities in the world, has been built for many centuries; where prominent figures - politicians, intellectuals and artists - have been hosted at all times.

My dear compatriots, I am also glad for your presence in this warm atmosphere. And thanks to you, I always feel proud when visiting this friendly country. In the face of you, strong with huge intellectual potential and a dignified stance, the hard-working Armenians have won a unique place of their own in this city and this country.

Every time I visit Paris and other Armenian-populated settlements in France, I discover anew how deep our historical ties are. As Victor Hugo has put it, “Paris opens its doors, and peoples come over as if captured by a giant magnet.” That magnet is the French people whose hospitable and humane spirit was once again demonstrated when they the Armenian Genocide survivors came to settle in this wonderful country.

Thank you, Mrs. Mayor, for the fact that Armenians in France and Paris continue to enjoy the careful attitude of the French authorities.

Taking this opportunity, I would like to once again praise my present and absent compatriots who were with us during the devastating earthquake, the imposed Artsakh war, as well as for supporting our effort to build the Homeland of our dreams. Dear compatriots, your presence is very visible in our country.

Armenia is overcoming difficulties by strengthening democratic institutions through all-inclusive, integrated reforms, promoting free market economy and information technologies, and implementing innovative ideas.

Mrs. Mayor,

Thank you very much for your work and for your words related to TUMO. You may know that Yerevan has learned a lot from Paris and has a lot to imitate. Let Paris learn something from Yerevan. We are grateful for that. Year after year, Armenia has been advancing its international involvement as a stable and reliable partner, enhancing its existing ties with traditional partners. In this regard, signed in November 2017 with the European Union, the Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement is indeed a milestone the full realization of which is our primary commitment.

2018 is an important year for us, and among other things, this year we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the First Republic of Armenia, the 2800th anniversary of Yerevan’s founding, followed by the 17th Summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie.

Of course, all these events are very important to us, but the Francophonie Summit is of special importance because it is perhaps the largest event in terms of its coverage as it testifies to the collective trust and confidence in our country of an institution which brings together half the globe.

I invite all of you to attend these memorable events. We will only be happy to do so. And I am very grateful, Mrs. Mayor, that you agreed to come and participate at least one of those events.

I am pleased to state that in recent years effective cooperation has been established between the City Hall of Yerevan and the International Association of Francophone Mayors which promotes the Francophonie movement in Yerevan.
Dear Mrs. Hidalgo,

I highly appreciate the cooperation unfolded at the decentralized level between our countries. Many joint projects, implemented in tourism, agriculture, education, culture, healthcare and other spheres as part of over six dozen partnership agreements, are of great importance not only in terms of socio-economic development, but also as a means to share values.

We will certainly pursue the introduction of European norms and standards in Yerevan and other cities of Armenia in a bid to make our cities more beautiful, more comfortable for their residents and guests.

I am glad that last year Paris was acknowledged to be the most innovative city in Europe under the Horizon 2020 program. I am confident that our capital has a lot to learn from Paris, be it good governance or the introduction of new technologies and environmental programs.

Of course, Yerevan will never be Paris, but we have mastered a lot in time and will continue to do so. If we want our ancient capitals to always help each other, then our contacts should be long-lasting, eternal, because contacts can strengthen friendship, cooperation, and result in new ideas.

Dear Compatriots,

Just a few minutes ago, we had a brief conversation at the Reception Hall of the Mayor’s Office, and I told her that the people of Armenia has a strong sense of gratitude and keeps in the annals of history the names of those individuals sensitive to Armenian issues. Mrs. Hidalgo is one of them, and I suggest applauding her for her warmth, sensitivity and kind attitude toward our people. 

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