YEREVAN (RFE/RL) — Armenia’s leaders described Jacques Chirac as a “great man,” “global political giant” and friend of the Armenian people on Monday, September 30, as France bade farewell to its former president who died last week aged 86.
Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan joined current and former world leaders in attending a funeral mass in memory of Chirac held at the Saint Sulpice church in Paris.
In a weekend tweet, Mnatsakanyan said he is leaving for Paris to “pay tribute to a great global political giant and big friend of Armenia.”
“His contribution to relations between our peoples and nations is monumental,” Mnatsakanyan wrote. “We bow our heads in deep respect and gratitude.”
In Yerevan, President Armen Sarkissian and Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan visited the French Embassy to leave messages in a book of condolences set up there.
“France has lost a great statesman and a great man,” wrote Pashinyan. “President Chirac was one of the symbols of the awakening of Armenian-French interstate relations.”