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January 22
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YEREVAN. – A French delegation headed by Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne, Secretary of State at the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France, arrived in Armenia Friday on a two-day working visit. The delegation brought along 25 tons of humanitarian cargo, and the members of this delegation presented the details of their visit at the press conference held on Saturday.

"The French president wanted the aid to be sent as soon as possible; the wounded and the displaced people especially need it," stressed Lemoyne, who is visiting Armenia for the fourth time. He compared the current situation with the situation after the devastating 1988 earthquake in Armenia. "At that time, [Charles] Aznavour's song ‘For you, Armenia’ united the whole world. And I believe that even after this hell, the trees will blossom again," said the French Secretary of State.

Eric Chevallier, director of the Crisis and Support Center of the French Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, reminded that French doctors had been sent to Armenia a few weeks ago, last week, a plane delivered a cargo of humanitarian aid to Yerevan—including a mobile hospital for 500 wounded, and their delegation brought to Armenia humanitarian aid collected by various organizations. There will be other planes, Chevallier added. According to him, direct cooperation between French and Armenian hospitals is envisaged.

Kristina Aznavour, President of the Aznavour Foundation, stressed that they have stood with Armenia and Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) since the first day of the recent war. "Thanks to various organizations, about 320 cubic meters of aid has been collected. It is difficult to count how many people helped—about 10 thousand people. Food and medicine were sent to about 2,000 families. Yesterday they also brought warm clothes, blankets, hygiene items, medicines. I want to emphasize that we, being far away, have experienced the same pain and sorrow," she stated.

And Youri Djorkaeff, France’s Goodwill Ambassador to Armenia and renowned retired French Armenian footballer, first extended his condolences to all the families who lost their children, brothers, friends or neighbors in the recent war. "France and the [Armenian] diaspora are together. We have come with a special mission, and this is a special day for us. It shows France's attitude towards Armenia. You are not alone. We will always stand with you," Djorkaeff added.

On November 9, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement on a complete cessation of hostilities— which Azerbaijan had launched on September 27—in and around Artsakh. Accordingly, Russian peacekeepers are deployed in the region to monitor the implementation of the ceasefire and the cessation of hostilities. But this statement also stipulates the handover of part of Artsakh lands to Azerbaijan. 

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