“This project is close to my heart for family and personal reasons. The story of my family, like that of many Armenians of my generation (the third after the execution of the genocide of 1915-1918) was to earn one’s place in the sun in a host country, to succeed professionally. I define myself under a double identity, and to describe it I would use Charles Aznavour’s expression: “100% French and 100% Armenian”.
Today, I want to give back to my two countries some of what they gave me. My family heritage speaks. My father, Arlen Papazian, was a committed activist for the Armenian cause; died too early, his personality nevertheless marked the Armenian community in France. Our whole family grew up in the values of armenity and political commitment. This commitment is trans-generational. My eldest daughter, Taline, devoted her doctorate in political science to studying the modern Armenian state and the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. Over the course of her work, she has become a personality recognized in academic circles for her expertise on security issues in the South Caucasus. My two sons have chosen to leave, for one the United States and for the other France, in 2019, and to relocate their start-up –Brushette- in Armenia. They find there a dynamic environment, young graduates, competent and motivated, in short, promising assets for the future of this country in the field of high technologies. Armenia Peace Initiative therefore fits into both a family and binational history. Peace and security remain a secular issue for Armenia: landlocked, under blockade, and at war if it is not open, at the very least hidden. France, as an essential partner of the Minsk group, has been engaged for years to bring the peace process in the South Caucasus region to a successful conclusion. But the conditions of security and peace are also political – with the promotion of democracy -, cultural with the development of arts and culture, economic to allow the population to stay in the country, and educational to provide ‘all young people have an educational level in accordance with international standards. ”
This project is vast and ambitious and we will not be able to do everything, but each stone laid to build this edifice will move forward. I am delighted to be able to help strengthen this France-Armenia link and to work to secure peace in this region of the world.