Time in Yerevan: 11:07:36,   16 December

JACQUES CHIRAC PAYS HOMAGE TO ARMENIAN GENOCIDE VICTIMS


YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 30, ARMENPRESS:French President Jacques Chirac and his spouse, Bernadette Chirac together with Armenian foreign minister Vartan Oskanian and Yerevan mayor Yervand Zakharian visited today morning the Genocide Memorial in the Armenian capital Yerevan and laid a wreath at the monument in commemoration of the victims of the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire. Jacques Chirac and his wife also visited the Genocide Museum located nearby. The President of France then planted a tree in a special alley. Later in the day Chirac and Armenian president Robert Kocharian opened a square in central Yerevan named after France. The huge crowd welcomed both presidents and their wives by loud cheers with Chirac shaking hands with exultant Armenians. Speaking at the ceremony Jacques Chirac said France has been actively engaged for more than ten years in the OSCE Minsk Group making every possible effort to help end the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. “Today I want to believe that time for peace has come. I want to believe it because I know the price of war,” Chirac said. According to the French President, the last step must be made to reach peace. He said Yerevan and Baku can and must do that last step because that would open for both nations the horizons of light, peace and prosperity. The two leaders are scheduled to attend later in the day an open-air concert by Charles Aznavour, Michel Legrand and other prominent French singers. Chirac will be welcomed also by Catholicos Karekin II, the head of the Armenian Apostolic Church.



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