French Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Armenia: “I felt like an Armenian a little”

On February 12, RA Minister of Diaspora Hranush Hakobyan received Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to the Republic of Armenia Jonathan Lacôte.

Cordially greeting the guest, the Minister attached importance to the meetings that the Ambassador had had with representatives of the Armenian community of France and the great impression that he made on the members of the community before arriving in Armenia and stated the following: “I believe you are in a country that has the most cordial and the most privileged relations with France. I believe the 17th Summit of the International Organization of La Francophonie, which will be hosted in Armenia, will become the start of a new stage for the connection between Armenia and the French-speaking Armenian communities.

The Armenian community of France always fondly mentions the fact that it is grateful to the French government and people for receiving sectors of the Armenians having escaped the genocide, creating favorable conditions for living and working and providing them with the opportunity to establish homes and communities on the land of the benign Frenchmen. The Armenians of France have become organized, integrated into French society, made their contributions to the country’s development and have preserved their national identity at the same time. As Charles Aznavour said, the Armenians of France are 100 percent French and 100 percent Armenian.”

Minister Hranush Hakobyan stated that, within the scope of the Francophonie Summit, several events will be held for the million members of the French-speaking communities in the Armenian Diaspora. “Before summer, we will help Armenian daily schools of France and various schools of Armenia establish sister ties.”

Expressing gratitude for the cordial reception, Ambassador Jonathan Lacôte stated that, for him, to be France’s Ambassador to Armenia means to live in an extremely hospitable country and deal with an organized Armenian community with potential. “Yes, before coming to Armenia, I visited A.R.A.M. Museum in Marseille, read about the impressions of Armenian migrants, had a meeting with members of the local Armenian community and felt like an Armenian a little. Now, I hear about events every week and participate in new initiatives undertaken by members of the Armenian community of France. I think this year, as President Macron assured during his meeting with the Armenian community of France, April 24th will be a day of remembrance of the Armenian Genocide on not only your calendar, but also the calendar in France.” The Ambassador attached importance to the creation of a French educational complex in Yerevan that will make the elementary school-primary school-high school-French University chain complete so that Frenchmen living in Armenia and the children of French-speaking Armenians receive a full education. He also talked about the initiative of opening an informatics lyceum that will go on to become one of the faculties of the French University in Armenia.

The Minister and the Ambassador shared the view that the launch of the Yerevan-Marseille and Yerevan-Lyon flights will help boost tourism and economic ties.

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