Armenian Students Protest French Senate’s Decision

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–The "Nikol Aghbalian" Student Organization of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation organized a demonstration Thursday protesting the decision of the French Senate not to put the Armenian Genocide on the parliament agenda.

During the rally–which took place near the Yerevan State University building–the students asserted that the French Senate’s refusal to even consider the resolution was a sign that "France was succumbing to Turkish pressure." They urged all to join in the protest.

More than 100 students turned out for the march. They were holding transparencies and banners in Armenian and French. One of the transparencies quoted the well-known French writer Anatol France: "The forum of the Armenia’s is the forum of the humankind." The students demanded that French Ambassador Michel Legras should receive a student delegation–but the Ambassador did not respond. A letter of protest was handed over to Embassy officials to be forwarded to relevant French establishmen’s.

Meanwhile–the chairman of the French-Armenian Friendship group of the French parliament–Jean-Paul Bret–who authored the 1998 resolution which passed the lower house–announced Thursday that the Senate’s refusal to consider the resolution was an insult to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

"This rejection was as much a disrespect as it left an impression that the French Senate conceded to Turkish pressures and threats," Bret said in his announcement–which was published in the Paris-based Haratch newspaper.

Several French newspapers which covered the Senate’s rejection have reported that Turkish pressures did–indeed–play a role in the ultimate decision.

Some newspapers wrote that senators had been very close in resolving the situation by introducing language which did not implicate the current Turkish government. "However–those efforts were futile because the clear victors in the matter were the French president and the foreign ministry," wrote a newspaper.

The media outlets also revealed that the French military industrial complex was also closely involved in pressuring the senate to forego discussion of the Armenian Genocide resolution.

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