Patrick Devedjian, a career French politician of Armenian descent, died on Saturday of Covid-19—the Coronavirus. He was 75.
Devedjian took to Twitter on Thursday to announce that he was diagnosed with the Coronavirus and praised the exceptional work of the medical staff at the hospital where he was being treated.
Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and President Armen Sarkissian both expressed their condolences and sadness over Devedjian’s passing, praising his contributions to advancing Armenia’s statehood after its independence in 1991.
“I am shocked by the news about the death of prominent French-Armenian political figure, President of the General Council of Hauts-de-Seine Department of France, ex-minister Patrick Devedjian,” Pashinyan said in a Facebook post on Sunday. “This is a major blow to the Armenians of France, the Armenian nation and France.”
“I express condolences to us all,” added Pashinyan.
Similarly, President Sarkissian expressed shock at the news of Devedjian’s passing, saying “France and Armenia lost one of their best sons.”
“Patrick Devedjian was a brilliant politician and individual who was correct, educated and responsible with his words and actions. He was also one of the tribunes of the French-Armenians, an unwavering defender of the Armenian Cause, and his voice was heard at the national and international levels,” said Sarkissian.
“After Armenia declared its independence, Patrick Devedjian became one of the architects of the special relations between France and Armenia. Armenia’s development was a primary objective for him, and he contributed to this with his specific actions and projects,” Sarkissian highlighted in his statement.
“I express my deep condolences to Patrick Devedjian’s wife, sons, grandchildren, relatives, as well as the Armenians of France and the entire Armenian nation,” added President Sarkissian.
“Patrick Devedjian’s passing has caused immense sorrow,” said Mourad Papazian the co-chairmen of Coordinating Committee of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF) and a member of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau.
“We have had a sincere friendship for several decades. He was a staunch fighter for the Armenian cause. A sharp mind that will be missed terribly,” said Papazian in a Facebook post, where he also posted a picture of Devedjian during the CCAF gala in January, pictured with CCAF co-chair Ara Toranian.
Devedjian was the minister in charge of dealing with French recovery from the 2008 financial crisis under president Nicolas Sarkozy, who in a Twitter said “I am proud to have had him by my side.”
“Patrick Devedjian was a passionate, complete, sincere, committed man. He embodied politics… with feelings, conviction, panache,” said Sarkozy. “I want to express to his loved ones my deep condolences and my infinite sadness.”
Devedjian held a number of ministerial positions since entering politics in 1983. He was also mayor of the town of Antony before becoming president of Haut-de-Seine, a department in western Paris.
He became the one of the first high-profile French politicians to succumb to the Coronavirus.