There must be a response to the French-Armenians’ initiative

French-Armenian organizations have decided to do everything possible to make sure the Parliament of France passes the article on criminalization of Armenian Genocide denial and that President Hollande ratifies the law before the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. This is in the context of President Hollande’s historic visit to Turkey, and the French-Armenians are aspiring to suspend any development that may hinder the adoption of the law.


Let us recall that President Sarkozy would encourage the Armenian community and pledge to fulfill his commitment, but the National Assembly passed the corresponding law that didn’t go into effect since the Constitutional Council recognized it as anti-constitutional…


Taking a retrospective glance at the events that are going down in history, it’s safe to say that some “games” were played due to several factors and particularly Nikola Sarkozy’s intentional delay. Upon assuming office, President Holland pledged to solve the issue and that he would do everything possible to ratify the draft law. But Hollande himself delayed for a long time and, to many people’s surprise, was making efforts for Turkey’s accession to the European Union…It’s obvious that France has its own interests and problems that are set aside from the Armenian Genocide issue. Sarkozy worked with that logic, and Hollande didn’t forget about those issues and interests. In this sense, Hollande’s visit to Turkey is sparking great interest. Many people are calling it a historic visit since no French official had set foot on Turkish land for several decades, and one could notice the resistance between Turkey and France due to the latter’s adoption of a law on Armenian Genocide recognition.


Hollande called on Turkey to recognize the Armenian, and this inspired the French-Armenians, who had been struggling to have their demands fulfilled for a long time. These are not only the demands of French-Armenians, but all Armenians of the world because Genocide recognition is one of the country’s priorities.


But Hollande’s statement in Turkey was as inspiring as it was troubling. It was troubling because the President of France had left for Ankara to improve Turkish-French economic relations and establish further cooperation. It’s obvious that this can hinder the adoption of a law criminalizing Armenian Genocide denial. The leader of a country can’t sign agreements on cooperation and then pass a law that Turkey goes against and will become a step closer to the milestone for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Therefore, not ruling out anything in the modern world, we can’t be fully rest assured that Hollande and his administration won’t delay and won’t avoid the topic. We Armenians are concerned because we have seen this happen before and we are seeing the events taking place around us. Let us recall U.S. President Barack Obama, who condemned the Armenian Genocide and pledged to recognize the Armenian Genocide during his election campaign, but did everything to avoid keeping his word. The reasons are clear and comprehensible. Great powers are guided by their concepts and principles. Therefore, we must discuss every country’s stance and conception comprehensively and move forward with more steps and actions.


Today, the French-Armenians, taking time and past experiences into consideration, are expressing their determination to fight to make sure that France passes the law that it has promised to pass. But we shouldn’t let the French-Armenians do this alone. Armenians in Armenia and the Diaspora need to combine their efforts in order to advocate more and struggle harder. Today, the Armenian Diaspora has all the instruments to reach a solution to the issue. Foreign presses, national and political organizations are the milestones that will make it easier to make the demands popular and solve the issue.


Thus, at this truly historic moment, we can’t leave the French-Armenians alone. We have to respond and join this initiative.

Levon Mutafyan 

Scroll Up