A former French minister running in the country’s upcoming presidential election has announced his intention to strongly support the Armenian Genocide denial policy (if elected to office).
“April 24 is a strong symbol. It reminds as of the 600 Armenian intellectuals who were killed in Istanbul on April 24, 1915 and also marks the beginning of the first crime of genocide. It is an important moment for the duty to remember, and the friendship between France and Armenia. I intend to pursue this tradition of taking part in commemoration events,” Emmanuel Macron said in an interview with Nouvelles d’Armenie.
The politician, who was France’s minister of economy from 2012 until 2014, expressed his support also to the idea of marking April 24 as the Armenian Genocide rememberance day on the country’s calendar. He said he greatly admires the French-Armenian community which perfectly assimilated into France’s society “while remaining deeply attached to their native culture”.
“I back their campaign. Genocide recognition became possible thanks to a generation which dedicated itself to the effort. They didn’t simply remember it but also voiced their demand. And that really produced its result,” Mr Macron added.
Regretting that France hasn’t yet finalized the Genocide denial criminalization process, the presidential hopeful highlighted the ambiguities in the Constitutional Council’s decision disputing the 2012 resolution (proposed by Valerie Boyer).
“France and Armenia are great friends, and I really wish to strengthen that friendship. That certainly was achieved thanks to the Armenian community’s efforts but also the continuing tradition which traces its roots to the late 19th century (when the French press already demonstrated its position by condemning the massacres). That support continued also with the 1909 and 1915 military operations aimed at saving the Armenians in Cilicia, and the recognition by France of the First Republic of Armenia in 1918,” he added.
Macron further noted that Armenia, as a member of the International Organization of la Francophonie, will be hosting its 2018 summit. “It will be a great moment for our two countries,” he added.