The former president of France, Nicolas Sarkozy to the Assyrians, “You have my support.”

More than four hundred guests and nearly sixty French Parliament and Senate members attended the well-organized gala of the Association des Assyro-Chaldeans in France (AACF) held on February 27, 2024. As it is known, last year, the French Senate passed a resolution that recognized the Assyrian (also known as Syriac and Chaldean) Genocide. The purpose of the gala was to continue to raise awareness of the Assyrian Genocide and to introduce the resolution in the French Parliament.

It was spectacular news when the former President expressed his willingness to accept the invitation from the Assyrians. In his speech, President Nicolas Sarkozy stated that the Assyrians were the indigenous people of Mesopotamia. “It is not imaginable to have the Middle East without you. I am giving you my full support. The Assyrian Genocide must be acknowledged, as was the Armenian Genocide.” he stated in his speech. 

Other notable guests included Prof. Efrem Yildiz from the University of Salamanca, Spain, and representatives from various political parties and personalities, such as Sylvain Mailand, Jean-Paul Mattei, Sebastien Chenu, Rachid Temal, Nicolas Duport-Aignam, Bruno Retailleau, Naima Moutchou, and Xavier Bertrand. More than fifty representatives who could not attend the gala sent their endorsements.

Additionally, representatives from the Syriac Orthodox Church, the Chaldean Church, and the Assyrian Church of the East were in attendance.

Speakers included Prof. Joseph Yacoub and Sabro Bengaro from the Seyfo Center. 

Prof. Yacoub stated that the Assyro-Chaldean genocide was, for several decades, a forgotten episode of the drama of the 20th century. He continued by saying, “We are convinced that the Committee for the Recognition of the Assyro-Chaldean Genocide, which you chair, will continue to work and move forward with the recognition. Prof. Yacoub also thanked many politicians who are behind all the work for the recognition of the Assyrian genocide.

Sabro Bengaro thanked the organizers for the invitation extended to him and expressed his gratitude for being with the French President and other participants in his speech. He commended the Assyro-Chaldean community, which made this tragedy visible to the masses. Bengaro stated that the Assyrian and Armenian genocides are historical facts. Despite all the facts, Turkey still denies that they took place. Bengaro stated, “The wounds of this genocide are not healed yet. We must speak about it because it is not only about our past but also our future. The best way to prevent future crimes against humanity is to condemn the past genocides.”  

The director of Seyfo Center was pleased to hear that many politicians promised to continue working for the recognition of the Assyrian genocide and felt that it was a matter of time before the resolution was introduced to the French Parliament; there was no reason to think there would be any obstacles. The good news above all was that there was hope that this would be a binding resolution that could push the French government to recognize the Assyrian Genocide.  

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