WASHINGTON — The Ambassador of France to the United States has clarified remarks he made earlier this week on the MSNBC show “Andrea Mitchell Reports” that sounded as if he were giving credence to the denial of the Armenian Genocide.
In a communication to the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) National Chairman Ken Hachikian and National Board member Raffi Hamparian, Ambassador Gerard Araud affirmed the fact that France has officially recognized the Armenian Genocide and his personal conviction that the Armenian Genocide constituted the first genocide in modern history.
“I am aware that some of my recent declarations have been misinterpreted as giving legitimacy to the denial of the Armenian Genocide,” Araud told the ANCA. “Nothing could further from me. Not only does France recognize officially the Armenian Genocide but I have been myself bred in a city — Marseilles — with a vibrant Armenian community where I had a lot of friends. I have always been personally convinced that the sufferings inflicted to the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire constituted the first genocide in the modern history. I hope this message will dispel any doubt that you could have on this topic.”
Prior to becoming the ambassador of France to the United States, Araud served as the Permanent Representative of France to the Security Council and Head of the Permanent Mission of France to the United Nations. He served as the President of the Security Council in February 2010, May 2011, August 2012 and December 2013.
“We welcome Ambassador Araud’s clarification of his comments regarding the Armenian Genocide,” remarked ANCA Communications Director Elizabeth Chouldjian. “Under President Francois Hollande and previous leaders, France has been a forceful and effective advocate in the global campaign to end Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. In this year of the Armenian Genocide centennial, their vigilance and active leadership is all the more critical in the pursuit of justice for this crime.”