France will commemorate Armenian Genocide, pledges Macron

French President Emmanuel Macron has pledged to assign a day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide to the French calendar, the Turkish daily Milliyet reported on Thursday.

Macron made the announcement at an annual meal hosted in Paris by the Co-ordination Council of Armenian organisations of France (CCAF), confirming that he would fulfil one of his election campaign promises and add the commemoration day.

Macron was the guest of honour at the dinner, which was attended by 500 guests including the Mayor of Paris and a number of Armenian lobbyists, wrote the Milliyet.

The French president refused these lobbyists’ request to directly censure Ankara for “threatening minorities”, according to the Milliyet’s report.

Many states and organisations around the world have formally recognised the 1915-1923 mass deportations and massacres of Armenians by forces of the Ottoman Empire as genocide. Ankara hotly contests this definition, acknowledging the massacres but saying they took place under war conditions.

France, a country with a large ethnic Armenian minority numbering hundreds of thousands, already formally recognises the Armenian genocide. The French senate passed a bill making denial of the Armenian Genocide a crime in 2016.