PARIS — On Tuesday, February 8, the Council of Armenian Organizations of France (CCAF), represented by Ara Toranian and Mourad Papazian, received for its 8th annual banquet, more than 150 French personalities from politics, culture and worship, sport and media, and Armenian, Jewish, Assyro-Chaldean, Kurdish, Cypriot, Tutsi associations, as well as elected representatives of the French Republic and representatives of the embassies of Armenia, Russia, United States, UNESCO, etc. Civil society was also represented by academics and specialists from the sphere of criminal law. In all there was a total of 450 guests gathered in the salons of Hôtel du Collectionneur in Paris.
Candidates for the French presidential election, Anne Hidalgo (mayor of Paris) and Valérie Pécresse (president of the Ile-de-France region) attended. This election is scheduled on April 24, 2022, the day of the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. This commemorative day was formalized within the French Republic in 2019 by President Emmanuel Macron, who that evening was in Berlin. due to the crisis around Ukraine.
In the preamble to the evening, the co-presidents of the CCAF, in a serious atmosphere, took the floor to denounce the “butchery” of the Armenians of Karabakh, for which Azerbaijan is responsible.
Ara Toranian, very moved, exclaimed: “’The Turks passed there,’ wrote Victor Hugo after the massacres on the island of Chios two hundred years ago. And today, again, ‘all is ruin and mourning.’ But in the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh this time, as was the case in Cyprus in 1974, among the Yezidis, the Assyro-Chaldeans, or in Syrian and Iraqi Turkish Kurdistan during the last decade […] this is the nightmare, made worse by the fact that the world has fallen silent, except for one voice. It was yours, Mr. President of the Republic, you who, by evoking the crossing of a red line, denounced the Azerbaijani aggressor, as well as the presence in the fighting of jihadist mercenaries recruited by Erdogan in the region of Aleppo. […] In the name of everything that binds Armenia to France, in the name of these very powerful formulas that you have used several times, we still hope for a referral to the United Nations Security Council to internationalize the issue and guarantee the existence of what remains of this people and this nation in danger. […] Hasn’t the time finally come to reconcile justice and law so that we can gather with our heads held high in front of the Dzidzernakapert memorial, look Armenia in the face, and defend with her all our democratic and republican values?”