HOLLANDE: THE TRAGEDY OF ARMENIANS IS CALLED GENOCIDE

April 25, 2014 - 15:19 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net - French President Francois Hollande attended the
commemoration of the 99th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Addressing the ceremony that was held at the Komitas monument in Paris,
the French President promised to visit Armenia on April 24, 2015, the
day that will mark the centennial of the Genocide. He also confirmed
his visit to Yerevan on May 12 and said he is ready to continue
working towards the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Commenting on the recent statement by Turkish Prime Minister Recep
Tayyip Erdogan, the French President described it as "insufficient,
although showing some progress."

"It is our hope and belief that the peoples of an ancient and unique
geography, who share similar customs and manners will be able to talk
to each other about the past with maturity and to remember together
their losses in a decent manner. And it is with this hope and belief
that we wish that the Armenians who lost their lives in the context
of the early twentieth century rest in peace, and we convey our
condolences to their grandchildren," Erdogan said in his address.

"It's what we wanted to hear, but it's not enough," Hollande said.

"This tragedy has one name and it's Genocide."

During a joint press conference with Turkish President Abdullah Gul
early this year, Hollande noted that "uncovering history is always
painful, but must be done."

On January 23, 2012 the French Senate passed the bill making it a
crime to deny the Armenian Genocide. The bill envisaged a 45,000 euro
fine and a year in prison for anyone in France who denies this crime
against humanity committed by the Ottoman Empire.

However, the French Constitutional Council ruled the bill as
anti-constitutional. In a statement the Council said the document
represented an "unconstitutional breach of the practice of freedom
of expression and communication

Later, President Hollande pledged to redraft the law criminalizing
the Armenian Genocide denial in France, stressing the need to ensure
the legal framework to avoid censorship by the Constitutional Council.