With the passing of Jacques Chirac on September 26, 2019, AGBU reflects on the legacy of this two-term French president, whose tenure from 1995 and 2007 coincided with the French Armenian people’s campaign for recognition of the Armenian Genocide.
Following in the footsteps of earlier French leaders like Clemenceau, who took up the cause of persecuted Armenians before and after 1915, Chirac set the stage for the French Parliament to officially recognize this crime against humanity as the first genocide of the 20th century. He also recognized the reality of a strong French-Armenian constituency that had integrated into French society and matured as a political force to advocate for legislation that, ultimately, made genocide denial a crime in France.
These considerations inevitably involved Chirac in direct engagement with Armenian organizations, including AGBU France and its global leadership. AGBU president Alex Manoogian met with Chirac on various occasions and also hosted the 80th anniversary of AGBU at Hôtel de Ville in Paris.
AGBU President Berge Setrakian took pause to express his sentiments on behalf of the organization.
“Armenians everywhere should count the name Jacques Chirac among those singular figures in history who helped advance the interest of the Armenian people. He was an outstanding statesman who leaves a legacy of courage and conviction that will long be remembered by a grateful Armenian nation.”