A forum of the International Organization of the Francophonie (OIF) opened in Yerevan on Wednesday, September 12, one month before the Armenian capital is to play host to the 2018 summit of French-speaking nations.
Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian and OIF Secretary-General Michaelle Jean attended the event.
In his opening remarks delivered in French Pashinian welcomed representatives of all civic organizations taking part in the forum.
“I am proud to say that our country assumes an important task and lives through an important period of time by playing host to the Francophone Summit. I want to assure you that our government and the whole of Armenia have mobilized their forces to host the participants of the summit in the best traditions of hospitality. I hope this summit will promote the development of Francophonie all over the world, and Armenia will become one of the centers of diplomatic activity of Francophonie,” the head of the Armenian government said.
OIF Secretary-General Jean, in her turn, said that the Armenians are preparing for the 17th Francophonie summit with the hospitality typical of them. “It is a great honor for us to hold a summit in a country where a velvet revolution, a peaceful change of power have taken place,” said Jean, adding that while in Yerevan she had an opportunity to meet young people who took civil responsibility to advance the achievements of the velvet revolution.
About 200 representatives of civic organizations from Francophonie member countries are attending the Yerevan forum.
The leaders of Francophonie countries, including French President Emmanuel Macron, are due to visit Yerevan for the Francophonie Summit that will be held in the Armenian capital on October 11-12.
Later this week Pashinian will travel to France where in Paris he will meet with Macron as well as representatives of the local sizable Armenian community.
In a Facebook post today Pashinian wrote: “I hope I will have fully learned French by the time the summit of Francophonie is held in Yerevan. Learn foreign languages! A citizen of Armenia should speak at least three foreign languages. I prefer French, Russian and English, and I should keep improving my knowledge of all the three languages.”