On November 8 Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and the Mayor of Marseille, Senator Jean-Claud Gaudin, opened the Armenian Consulate General in Marseille. Attending the solemn ceremony were also French lawmakers, politicians, public and culture figures and representatives of the Armenian community.
In his opening remarks Minister Nalbandian attached importance to the establishment of the Consulate General, underlining that Marseille has a special importance for our people.
“Armenians have lived in Marseille from early Middle Ages. Armenian merchants trading between the East and the West were actively working in this city,” he said.
“Marseille became the first French city to host thousands of Armenian Genocide survivors. Many of them settled here and became true citizens of Marseille. Up until today they continue to contribute to the development of the city,” the Minister said.
“With its Armenian Churches, monuments, schools, cultural and sports centers, the Armenian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Marseille is an evidence of the high level of integration of Armenians on one hand, and maintenance of ties with the Motherland, on the other hand,” Edward Nalbandian said.
The Minister thanked the regional and municipal authorities of Marseille for the continuous support to Armenians and for the important contribution to the reinforcement of the Armenian-French friendship. He voiced confidence that headed by Consul General Vardan Armakesh, the Consulate would make an important contribution to the development and deepening of the Armenian-French relations.
Marseille Mayor Jean-Claud Gaudin said it’s a great honor for him to attend the opening of the first Consulate General of friendly Armenia in France, since he has the warmest feelings for the Armenian people and is a proponent of development of comprehensive cooperation with Armenia.
He noted that Armenians have made an important contribution to the development and prosperity of the city and serve as a unique bridge between France and Armenia. He underlined that Marseille and Yerevan cooperation in the fields of education, culture, sport, healthcare and others. Jean-Claud Gaudin expressed confidence that the Consulate General would contribute to the further deepening of Armenian-French friendship.
The solemn opening ceremony of the Armenian Consulate General was aired live on local TV channels and was widely covered by media.