PARIS—While meeting with representatives of the French-Armenian community at the Elysee Palace on Wednesday, French President President Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed that he would present a new draft of a law criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide, reported journalist Jean Eckian.
“Mr. Sarkozy is aware of the sensitivities we have as French-Armenians over this matter,” Armenian National Committee of France chairman Mourad Papazian told the Hurriyet Daily News yesterday, before attending the meeting.
The French Constitutional Council ruled as unconstitutional a bill that criminalizes the denial of the Armenian Genocide and was approved by both houses of the French legislature. Sarkozy and his main opponent Socialist candidate Francois Hollande both pledged to re-introduce a similar bill after the elections.
“Both Sarkozy and his frontrunner rival Francois Hollande are in agreement over the draft proposal [to criminalize] denial of the genocide,” said Papazian. “Moreover, as Armenians we are going to continue waging our righteous struggle and pick it up where it was left once again,” Papazian said.
“[Sarkozy] maintained his stance regarding the Armenian genocide till the end. He called on Turkey to recognize the genocide and paved the way for Parliament to vote on the law,” said Papazian.
“We do not possess Turkey’s material capabilities. All we have is our just cause and our struggle in that vein. We are going to continue waging our struggle until Turkey recognizes the genocide. Both Mr. Sarkozy and Mr. Hollande will continue lending their support to our righteous struggle,” said Papazian.
“Of course, a new draft proposal will come about, but we are now entering the process of elections. We are going to pick up our righteous struggle where we left off [after the elections],” said Garo Yalick, adviser to Valeri Boyer, the French parliament member who authored the original bill.