France's Macron announces national day marking Armenian genocide

Ludovic Marin / Pool / AFP | French President Emmanuel Macron attends a wreath laying ceremony at the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan on October 11, 2018.

French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday said France would make April 24 a "national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide".


Speaking to the Armenian community at a dinner in Paris, Macron said: "France is, first and foremost, the country that knows how to look history in the face, which was among the first to denounce the killing of the Armenian people, which in 1915 named genocide for what it was, which in 2001 after a long struggle recognised it in law."

France "will in the next weeks make April 24 a national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide," he added.

For decades, Armenia and Turkey have been at odds over whether the World War I massacres and deportations of Armenians by their Ottoman rulers should be described as genocide.

Turkey vehemently rejects that the massacres, imprisonment and forced deportation of Armenians from 1915 -- which Armenia says left 1.5 million dead -- constituted a genocide.

Macron's remarks at the dinner, organised by the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organisations of France, honoured a campaign promise from his election in 2017.

At the event, Macron also paid tribute to Charles Aznavour, the French crooner of Armenian origin who died in October last year.


Daily newsletterReceive essential international news every morning