YEREVAN, April 24. / ARKA /. The centenary of the Armenian Genocide, to be marked in 2015, gives the countries which did not recognize it so far, an opportunity to do so, French ambassador to Armenia, Henri Reynaud said today after paying tribute to 1.5 million Armenians killed by the government of Ottoman Turkey during World War One.
"The centenary (of the Armenian genocide) is a watershed event in the history, and it should serve as an occasion for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by those countries that have not done it yet. France calls on these countries to take advantage of this opportunity, “he said to reporters.
According to him, the genocide anniversary is a very significant and emotional event for his country that has an estimated half a million Armenian community.
"Genocide is part of the French history not only because France gave shelter to thousands of Armenian refugees in those years, but also because these people have become French citizens. This was the reason for France to recognize officially the Armenian Genocide in 2001," he said.
“We hope that by the centenary of the Armenian Genocide there will be progress in the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations that would translate into reconciliation process,» he said. -0-