“Yerevan holds a special place in Parisians’ hearts” - Nikol Pashinyan meets with Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo
YEREVAN, SEPTEMBER 15, ARMENPRESS. Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who is paying a working visit to France, today met with Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo. To begin with, the parties stated with satisfaction that the two countries have boasted privileged relations of close partnership since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the PM’s office said.
The Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia and the Mayor of Paris emphasized the importance of developing and strengthening cooperation between the twin capital cities. Nikol Pashinyan expressed conviction that the Armenian-French cooperation will be continued which will surely give its fruits.
“Armenia’s new leadership intends to not only preserve the current level of Armenian-French relations, but also to give new breath and dynamics to the agenda of bilateral cooperation.” the Prime Minister said, prioritizing the ever-growing cooperation between the Yerevan and Paris municipalities, in which great is Mrs. Hidalgo’s personal contribution. The head of the Armenian government said he is aware that the municipal administrations keep in close touch everyday and share best practices with each other.
According to the prime minister, the experience of Paris - one of the best managed cities in the world - is valuable in all spheres. Nikol Pashinyan expressed the hope that a constructive dialogue will be established with Yerevan’s new mayor and tangible results of cooperation will be recorded.
Noting that this year we are celebrating Yerevan’s 2800th anniversary, the Premier reaffirmed his invitation for Anne Hidalgo to visit Armenia whether on Yerevan’s 2800th anniversary or on another convenient occasion.
Anne Hidalgo, too, highlighted the development and deepening of Armenian-French relationships and praised the Armenian community in Paris, emphasizing that several members of the community have achieved great success in various fields of activity and have made a significant contribution to the development of the city, as well as in public and political life.
The Mayor of Paris expressed her admiration of the Armenian TUMO Center for Creative Technologies and advised that they were going to set up a similar center in Paris to become another bridge of friendship. Anne Hidalgo gave details of the ongoing support programs implemented by the Paris Mayor’s Office and expressed readiness to exchange experience with the Municipality of Yerevan.
“Yerevan holds a special place in the Parisians’ hearts, and we are eager to further strengthen the ties with the Armenian capital,” Anne Hidalgo said.
After the meeting, a reception was held in the municipality of Paris in honor of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, attended by Armenian community representatives. RA Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo delivered speeches.
The Mayor of Paris stated, in part: “Honorable Mr. Prime Minister, Dear Nikol Pashinyan, I wish you welcome and see that there are many familiar faces from the French-Armenian community here. I am happy to host you and I want to thank you for responding to the invitation. I am sincerely glad that the friendship between Paris and Armenia is so deep. We have a shared past record and a common future to build.
The present consists of those young people that stood up for you, stood up for democracy and for their future, and the peaceful march that brought you from Gyumri to Yerevan and was a peaceful wind blowing in your country.
Today, there is a generation that shares your enormous responsibility. Youth is uniting us today; within just a few days a TUMO center will be inaugurated in Paris: the idea was inspired by your country. This will allow thousands of Parisians to train in digital technologies in an atmosphere of kindness, respect and trust.
We worked hard and have chosen a beautiful cultural establishment in Paris, and I want to greet the Director, as well as Mary Lou and Bekor Papazyans for accepting the challenge. We face the challenge of building our present and future days together; we must multiply the joint programs and implement them together. I know that we want to build more democratic, just and modern societies.
Mr. Prime Minister, I understand that you know very well the cost of the struggle. Let us reach our goals together.”
Prime Minister Pashinyan stated, in turn: “Dear Mrs. Mayor, dear compatriots, dear guests, it is a great honor for me to be here today with the Mayor of Paris in this historic building. Since Mrs. Hidalgo repeatedly evoked the recent events in Armenia, I would reserve the right to make some parallels and place today’s meeting in the context of what happened.
The Armenian revolution actually started from the Square of France which features one of Rodin’s masterpieces that France has donated to Armenia. We rallied around Rodin’s sculpture, and I used to warn people several times a day that the statue was a masterpiece of art, and our greatest problem was not only to change power in the country, but also to make sure that the masterpiece is not damaged. Every time I spoke at the Square of France standing by Rodin’s masterpiece, I evoked stories related to different revolutions in the past. I constantly had in my mind France, one of the largest centers of revolutions. I realized the progress brought to mankind through different revolutions, but at the same time I remembered the misery that revolutions have brought to peoples.
As I recalled the history of the French Revolution and other revolutions, a very clear problem came to be formulated before us, namely to make a revolution that will lead to progress, will lead to new opportunities, and will rule out a new tide of suffering. And we managed to clearly formulate our task: our revolution must be that of love and solidarity, not suffering, not that of gains and losses. And we succeeded in carrying out a revolution of love and solidarity, a revolution carried out for the sake of citizens’ happiness, freedom and without any suffering.
I feel that the idea of our revolution and the fact that TUMO centers will be inaugurated in Paris, Moscow, Lebanon, Tirana, Berlin shows the key content of the New Armenia. We are a country that wants and can become an important and useful participant of human progress and civilization, make human life freer, happier, more tolerant and more civilized. And we are walking this way more confidently day after day, and in fact, we are walking.”