On Monday 5 December 2011 the former Senator Adrien Gouteyron, representing the Prime Minister of France visited His Holiness Aram I. Mr. Gouteyron was on a special mission to be informed on the region and Christian presence. After Egypt, Lebanon was the next country.
In response to Adrien Gouteyron’s question, Catholicos Aram I said, “Regime change is not an end in itself. It is the first step towards people’s participation. If democratization is defined on the basis of strict Islamic terms, Christians will face difficulties. While respecting the position of majority Muslims, we would like to participate in the political, social and economic life of our countries as full citizens. Any future dialogue should move in this direction.” Referring to Christian churches in the region, His Holiness said, “Churches in the Middle East and their Diaspora communities should cooperate and strengthen the region.”
His Holiness Aram I then referred to the recent statement of Foreign Minister François Pillon in Turkey where he stated “France was ready to invite Armenian and Turkish delegations to study the sad events of 1915”. This statement His Holiness continued, contradicts the position of the French Presidents and the Parliament who had recognized the Armenian Genocide.
The French representative ended his visit by paying tribute to the martyrs at the Genocide Martyr’s chapel.