PARIS — French President Nicolas Sarkozy will participate in the commemoration of the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Paris on April 24.
He will speak at 7:00 pm in front of the statue of Komitas Vartabed, at Yerevan Garden and lay a wreath in the name of France, accompanied by Republican guard.
This is the first time in France that Nicolas Sarkozy will participate in the Genocide commemoration.
In January, France’s Senate voted to approve legislation making it a crime to deny that the mass killing of Armenians early last century was genocide, infuriating Turkey and damaging relations between the two countries. France’s constitutional court subsequently ruled the legislation was invalid.
Sarkozy and Hollande Advance to French Runoff Election
President Nicolas Sarkozy and Socialist candidate Francois Hollande are headed into a May 6 runoff election in their race for the presidency of France.
Based on preliminary results and exit polls by survey firms showed Hollande with 28.8% of the vote, while Sarkozy was seen at 26.1%, according to news channel France 24. far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen was seen with 18.5% of the vote, while far-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon received 11.7%.
The conservative Sarkozy, in office since 2007, has led France through the economic and financial crisis that has been battering Europe for four years, lowering living standards for millions. Like other European leaders, he suffered in public opinion as the crisis unfurled under his presidency and, partly as a result, has trailed Hollande consistently, at about 45 percent to 55 percent, in polls measuring second-round preferences.
Both Sarkozy and Hollande have pledged to reintroduce the Armenian genocide bill to parliament once elected president.