Headed by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, an Armenian government delegation arrived in French on a working visit on Thursday, September 13.
The Prime Minister left the airport for Yerevan Park in Paris, where he laid a wreath at the monument to Komitas, paying tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Later on, the Premier dined with the representatives of the Armenian community in France, involving MPs, politicians, public figures, businessmen, artists, particularly Mayor of Lyon Georges Kepenekian, Deputy Mayor of the 9th district of Paris Alexy Govchian, ex-member of the French government Patrick Devedjian, co-chairs of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations of France Ara Toranyan and Murad Papazyan, businessmen Daniel Kourkchyan, Serge Churuk, Vardan Srmakesh , Armen Petrosyan, Alain Mikli, President of the Union of Filmmakers Alain Terzian, world-famous football player Yuri Jorkaeff and others.
In his speech, the Prime Minister noted that the presence of prominent French-Armenians symbolized the opportunities available today in the Republic of Armenia. “What happened in Armenia is quite easy to understand. The citizens of Armenia and the Armenian people regained their trust and self-confidence. This is the key change that has taken place. No matter who is government and who is opposition - people are the only source of power in the Republic of Armenia and there is no exaggeration in it.
"Earlier today, I hosted and talked to representatives of the France-Armenia Friendship Group. I told them that a new governance system is being shaped in the Republic of Armenia, that of direct democracy. Since this statement may give rise to some misunderstanding, I wish to note that by saying this I mean the following: citizens should have greater participation in decision-making, specifically by means of referendums.
"I think a new process has started in Armenia, which will spread all over the world. I want to believe that the Armenian people and Armenia have assumed a role which is of global significance, and I also believe that the Armenian nation has the necessary potential, historical background and skills to have a say in developing new systems in the world. Seeing those present, I want to believe that our State will take its share of leadership instead of skidding in the backdrop of modern politics. The Armenian nation has that very potential, and as the representative of the people which was the first to adopt Christianity as a State religion, I believe in the idea that we have far more serious and greater potential.
"We must unite our forces just because the velvet revolution took place not only with the participation of Armenian citizens, but also with that of Diaspora Armenians.
"What do I mean by participation? Namely, that your clear-cut position and positive stance were the most powerful factor that could change the political situation in Armenia. It is important for me reach out the spiritual, cultural and political content of what happened, which, as it turned out, should bring us together.
"I do believe that the Armenian people have shouldered a new role, and that new role is first of all to create a free and happy homeland. I can guarantee that today all people are equal before the law in Armenia. Being or having more and less in the country is the cornerstone on which our new reality is to be built. I would like to thank you for your position and reception.
"Many things remain to be said yet, but I want to assure you that I could read in your eyes everything you wanted to say, and I hope you have seen in my eyes what you wanted to hear.
"We are the descendants of the same patriarch, we are the children of the same homeland, the bearers of the same dreams, we are the creators of the same victory and we must be together,” the Prime Minister concluded.
During the exchange of opinions that followed, the Premier answered a number of questions raised by French-Armenian public figures concerning the changes underway in Armenia: development of democracy, fight against corruption, betterment of the business environment, attracting investments, etc.