Calls on Turkey to Face its Past “Taboos”
PARIS—French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday confirmed that he would attend Armenian Genocide centennial commemoration events in Yerevan on April 24, while at the same time urging Ankara to come to terms with its past and “break taboos.”
Hollande was speaking at a banquet organized by the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France (CCAF) that featured other high-ranking dignitaries and officially kicked of Genocide Centennial activities in France.
“The effort toward the truth must continue and I am convinced that this centenary year will see new gestures, new steps on the road to recognition,” Hollande told the audience.
The French leader also said that last year’s condolence message offered by then Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was not “enough,” adding, that Ankara’s position “cannot stop there”.
“It is time to break the taboos and for the two nations, Armenia and Turkey, to create a new beginning,” he said
He also praised the important role the French-Armenian community plays in the development of France.
“Today, when our country has become the target of barbarism, intolerance, hatred and terrorism, you, the Armenians of France, give us all an example of dignity, which is the subject of our common pride,” said Hollande.
Hollande’s presence at the CCAF annual banquet was seen as unique sign of political support.
According to the co-chairman of CCAF Mourad Papazian, with his presence, the French President declared that he is showing his political support on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.
“The President mentioned that he would be in Yerevan on April 24 to express his support to the Armenian Cause and called on Turkey to confront its past and recognize the Armenian Genocide this year,” Papazian who said he was confident the new steps in the recognition of the Armenian Genocide will be taken.