French presidential hopeful Emmanuel Macron has marked the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in a brief ceremony in Paris, Euronews reports.
Macron laid a wreath and observed a minute’s silence in memory of the victims.
If elected president of France in the second round of the country’s election, Macron has vowed to continue the fight for full international recognition of the atrocity as a genocide.
Speaking to Nouvelles d’Armenie before the Sunday vote Emmanuel Macron pledged to continue the tradition to commemorate the Armenian Genocide if elected.
“The date of 24 April is a strong symbol: it commemorates the murder of 600 Armenian intellectuals on 24 April 1915 in Constantinople and the beginning of the first genocide. This is an important moment for the duty of memory and for the friendship between France and Armenia. I intend to continue this tradition by participating in the commemorations. I am also in favor of a day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide being included in our calendar,” Macron said.
“In France, the penalization of the denial of the genocide could not be obtained and the decision of the Constitutional Council provoked much misunderstanding. I am convinced that we must continue to work in this direction. Law and memory cannot be incompatible,” the presidential candidate said.
Macron, a centrist with pro-business, pro-European views, will face far-right leader Marine Le Pen in the May 7 runoff of the presidential election.