French President Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday signed an order declaring April 24 as a day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
According to the document, a ceremony paying tribute to the Armenian Genocide victims will be held in Paris on April 24 every year. Similar events may also be held in every city at the initiative of the local governments. The French prime minister is mandated to implement the specifics of the decision.
Macron announced the observance of April 24 as a national day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide on February 5 when he spoke at the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations (CCAF) gala in Paris.
“France is, first and foremost, the country that knows how to look history in the face, and was among the first to denounce the killing of the Armenian people in 1915 as genocide, and in 2001 after a long struggle recognized it as law,” Macron told the crowd gathered at the CCAF gala in February.
“I am very proud to represent in Armenia the country that will commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide of 1915—an integral part of our collective memory—every year, ” France’s Ambassador to Armenia Jonathan Lacote wrote in a Facebook message on Thursday.
Macron’s announcement came on the heels of Italy’s Chamber of Deputies overwhelmingly adopting a resolution calling on Italy to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
In a statement, Turkey’s foreign ministry strongly condemned both decisions on Thursday.
“It is inevitable that France’s attitude, which is far from amicable, will impact its relations with Turkey in a negative way,” the statement said.
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry called the Italian legislature’s vote as an example of using Armenian claims for domestic political interests.
“It is not surprising that this motion was drafted by the Lega Party, led by Matteo Salvini, who is committed to sabotaging relations between Turkey and Italy,” added the foreign ministry statement.