French presidential candidate François Fillon pledges to commemorate April 24th if elected. “It is important not to forget the thousands of victims,” he said in an interview with Nouvelles d’Armenie.
“The French of Armenian origin and the Armenian community of France constitute an example of integration, of success, of patriotism. Everyone loves France but all also have a bit of their heart in Armenia. With the law of January 29, 2001, France publicly acknowledged the Armenian genocide of 1915. By recognizing the existence of the first genocide of the twentieth century, the French Republic symbolically gave the Armenian drama a place in the collective memory of mankind,” he said.
“Turkey is very wrong not to look at its past. Every nation has its share of shadow and gains by recognizing it,” Fillon said.
“The French Republic has a duty to protect all its citizens, including our citizens who have found asylum, homeland and freedom in France. It is up to the justice of the Republic to act to ensure respect for its citizens. An important legislative work had to be carried out in order to draw all the legal consequences of this recognition, that is to say, the penalization of denial,” he said.
As for Turkey’s accession to the European Union, François Fillon said: “I have always been consistent. I have never changed my opinion: Turkey’s accession to the European Union is neither possible nor desirable. I regret that France and Europe do not have the courage to say it sincerely to the Turkish authorities.”
“There is no alternative to finding a peaceful and lasting solution to the Karabakh conflict,” François Fillon said.
“In April 2016, for six days, the Southern Caucasus once again flamed. Confirmed by international indifference, Azerbaijan tried to retake Nagorno-Karabakh by force. This murderous offensive ended with a precarious ceasefire. Today our French citizens of Armenian origin are worried and I am also worried because the Nagorno-Karabakh. Let us not forget that the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh is due to Stalin, who arbitrarily detached it from Armenia and gave to Azerbaijan in 1921. Now there is no choice but to find a Peaceful and lasting solution through the United Nations,” Fillon stated.