The Armenian Consulate General was opened in Lyon on July 21 in a ceremony attended by Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, Prefect of Ron-Alp Jean-Francois Carenso, Lyon Mayor Gérard Collomb and President of the General Council of Ron Daniel Chouseville.
Present at the ceremony were also Charles Aznavour, French lawmakers, politicians, public and culture figures, heads of Armenian organizations, media representatives.
In his opening remarks Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian attached importance to the establishment of the Armenian Consulate General in Lyon, underlining that Lyon and Ron-Alp play an important role in the development of comprehensive relations between Armenia and France.
“The first records of the Armenian presence in Lyon date back to the Middle Ages. The first Armenians were merchants, and later, Armenian silk producers settled and worked in this region,” Minister Nalbandian said.
“Thousands of survivors of the Armenian Genocide found their second Homeland in Lyon, Valans, Grenoble, Vien, Roman, Viliorban, Sent-Etien, Desin, Sent-Chamon and elsewhere. They integrated into the French society. They have made and continue making their contributions to the advancement of Ron-Alp and its cities,” the Minister said.
With the Armenian churches, monuments, schools, cultural and sports centers, the region of Ron-Alp is an evidence of the high level of integration of Armenians and strong ties with Armenia, he added.
Minister Nalbandian expressed gratitude to the regional and municipal authorities of Lyon and Ron-Alp, to the Armenian organizations and citizens for the continuous support and contribution to the reinforcement of Armenian-French friendship.
Other speakers at the ceremony included Prefect of Ron-Alp Jean-Francois Carenso, Lyon Mayor Gérard Collomb and President of the General Council of Ron Daniel Chouseville.
After the speeches the Armenian flag was raised in front of the Consulate General to the sound of the Armenian national anthem, after which Edward Nalbandian, Charles Aznavour, Jean-Francois Carenso, Gerard Colomb, Daniel Chouseville and Nikolay Sarkisov cut the red ribbon.
The opening ceremony was widely covered by French media.