July 22, 2014 - 16:40 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - French city of Lyon hosted the opening of the Consulate General of Armenia Monday, July 21, Foreign Ministry reported.
Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian, Prefect of Rhone-Alpes region Jean-Francois Carenco, Mayor of Lyon Gerard Collomb, President of the General Council of Rhone Danielle Chuzeville launched the official ceremony, with Armenian envoy to Switzerland Charles Aznavour, French MPs, politicians, public and cultural figures as well as heads of Armenian organizations and journalists.
In his address, Nalbandian welcomed the opening of the Consulate general, stressing the special role of Lyon and Rhone-Alpes in the development of bilateral relations.
“First references about the Armenian presence in Lyon date from the Middle Ages; first Armenian traders, then silk producers established themselves in this region,” Minister Nalbandian said.
“Thousands of Armenians who survived the Genocide and came to Marseille, then moved up the Rhine river, found their new homes in Lyon, Valence, Grenoble, Vienne, Roanne, Villeurbanne, Saint –Ettiene, Decinec, Saint-Chamond, etc. They became integrated into the French society, having contributed to the development of Rhone-Alpes and its cities.”
Minister Nalbandian thanked the regional, district and municipal authorities of Lyon and Rhone-Alpes, Armenian organizations, French citizens of Armenian descent for the continuous support and contribution to enhancing Armenian-French friendship.
French officials, in turn, expressed confidence that the opening of the Consulate General will give an impetus to the Armenian-French decentralized cooperation and enhancement of ties between Lyon as well as other communities of Rhone-Alpes and their partner Armenian towns.