‘Artsakh is a Real Democracy,’ Says French Mayor Hosting ‘Days of Artsakh’
LES PENNES-MIRABEAU, France—“Artsakh is a real democracy,” said the mayor of this southern French city, which is currently hosting a “Days of Artsakh” celebration, which features festivals and events in 10 French cities that have establishment “friendship cities” with towns and cities in Artsakh.
The statement was made by the Les Pennes-Mirabeau mayor, Monique Slissa, who is hosting the latest of the “Days of Artsakh” festival. The event is part of series of events dedicated to Artsakh in 10 French cities that have established “Friendship Cities,” with towns and municipalities in Artsakh.
Slissa, speaking to the local La Provence newspaper, said that Artsakh’s democracy in unrivaled in the region. “For just this reason,” she said “that country deserves our support.”
“Armenian issues are close to my heart and for that reason Artsakh is also important for us. We decided to establish relations with Artsakh and Les Pennes-Mirabeau became the first French city to sign a cooperation agreements with the Martuni region of Artsakh,” Slissa told La Provence, adding that one of the first decision she made upon her election as mayor in 2001 was to dedicate the city’s main square to the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide
The Festival program included, an exhibition by famous French photographer Yvan Travert called, “Artsakh: the Spirit of the Land”; another exhibit by French graphic artist Sylvain Savoia called, “Pilgrimage to Artsakh”; the screening of the documentary “We are Our Mountains” by French-Armenian film director Arnaud Khayadjanian; as well as a lecture by attorney Gerard Gergerian, entitled, “Peoples’ Right to Self-Determination and the Legal Aspects of the Artsakh Conflict,” during which advisor to the Artsakh’s State Minister, Artak Beglaryan, made a presentation.
In addition Slissa, member of the French Senate, former Mayor of Les Pennes-Mirabeau Miche,l Amiel, members of the City Council and heads of municipal departments are attending the events. Also present at the celebrations are Beglaryan, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Artsakh to France, Hovhannes Gevorgyan, and representatives of the Armenian community of France.