YEREVAN (Armenpress)-"I hope one day Armenian and Turkish leaders will together pay tribute to the victims of the Armenian genocide and move beyond the heavy burden of the past, to build a secure future together," Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian said in Paris on Thursday.
Nalbandian, who has been in France since Tuesday for a three day working visit, was in Paris Friday attending a reception in memory of the victims of the Armenian genocide.
Present at the event were French Armenia’s, French public officials and heads of French, Jewish and Islamic organizations.
Nalbandian expressed his gratitude to Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe for sponsoring the event, which has become a tradition in Paris.
Nalbanidian said he greatly appreciated the wisdom and political courage displayed by European leaders when they recognize the genocide.
He noted that it is impossible to imagine the future without reconciliation, and the way to it is not by putting the memory of the genocide behind us but my keeping it in our conscious memory.
"By turning the black page of our history together, we can view the future with trust and belief," he stated.
"Armenia has, on many occasions, stated its readiness to establish relations with Turkey without pre-conditions," Nalbandian remarked. "I want to reconfirm that Armenia is ready to exert efforts in that direction…and hopes that Turkey will display the same attitude. All the countries of the region will benefit from this," he added.
In his speech the Paris mayor congratulated Nalbandian on his appointment and commended his 10-years of service as Armenia’s ambassador to France. During Nalbandian’s ambassadorship, the relations between the two countries reached their highest level, the mayor said.
He also said that the park around the Komitas monument in Paris will be named Yerevan Park and invited the minister to be present at its opening.
Earlier in the day, Nalbandian met with to discuss issues related to boosting Armenian-French cooperation in the framework of a Yerevan-Paris partnership. The minister arrived back in Yerevan later in the evening.