YEREVAN (AFP)–Singer Charles Aznavour, often dubbed the "French Sinatra", has agreed to become ambassador to Switzerland for his ancestral homeland Armenia, the singer told Armenian television.
"It is a great honor that Armenia proposed that I become its ambassador… in Switzerland," he said.
"At first I had doubts… but then I thought that what is important for Armenia’should be important for us all. So I accepted the proposal with pleasure and with joy," he said.
Born Shahnur Aznavourian in Paris to Armenian parents, the 84-year-old singer has maintained close links with Armenia and is among the best-known figures of France’s 400,000-strong Armenian Diaspora.
After the 1988 earthquake in Armenia that killed 25,000 people, Aznavour set up a foundation and organized a series of charity concerts to help quake victims.
He also serves as Armenia’s permanent delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
The author of over 1,000 songs, Aznavour is one of France’s most popular singers and is the first French performer to have a recording that went platinum in Europe. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.
Aznavour was granted Armenian citizenship in December.