PARIS (Gamk)–More than 10,000 French-Armenia’s marched to the French Senate building on April 24–in protest of the body’s refusal to address and adopt an Armenian Genocide recognition resolution–unanimously approved last year by the parliament (lower house).
At 4:30 p.m. local time–the demonstrators gathered at the French National Assembly building–in the presence of numerous local–regional and national French officials.
The keynote speaker at the gathering was Armenian Presidential Advisor Vahan Hovanessian–who stressed that it had been more than a year that the government of Armenia was pursuing the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the international community.
Hovanessian announced that all political factions and groupings in Armenia had joined the Robert Kocharian administration in addressing that concern.
He welcomed that approach–which he said was also being carried out by the French-Armenian community.
By drawing a parallel between the events of 1915 and the Karabakh liberation struggle–Hovanessian emphasized the need for struggle and resilience.
"During the Genocide–wherever the Armenia’s defended themselves–they survived," said Hovanessian–concluding that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide was a pan-Armenian concern and aimed at preventing other such crimes.
The Genocide commemoration activities in Paris began on the evening of April 23–when a youth vigil was organized at the St. Germain des Pres church courtyard. The all-night vigil featured speakers on the Genocide and flyers regarding the Armenian cause were distributed to passersby.
At 11 a.m. on April 24–a requiem service was held at Paris’ St. John the Baptist church–following which wreaths were laid at the tomb of the unknown soldier by Armenia’s Ambassador to France Edward Nalbandian on behalf of the Republic of Armenia and Alexi Govsian on behalf of the French-Armenian community. Hovanessian was present at the wreath laying.
Thousands of French-Armenia’s marked the Genocide anniversary in cities across France. All events were attended by French government officials.
In Marselles–4,500 Armenia’s marched through the city to city hall–where a political gathering took place. In Lyons thousands gathered for a commemoration event–attended by Hovanessian. In Valance–3,000 French-Armenia’s staged a protest march ending at the Armenian Genocide monument.