By Krikor Amirzayan, interview and pictures
Marlene Mourier (52), substitute member Patrick Labaune (UMP) with its list of “The Force of engagement” had created a stir in the municipal last March by taking the city of Bourg-Les-Valence, held for several decades by the Socialists. Marlene Mourier, the new Mayor of Bourg-Les-Valence, Drôme Common nearly 20,000 inhabitants, nearly 3,000 citizens of Armenian origin. While Bourg-Les-Valence is twinned with Talin (Armenia), Marlene Mourier announced during the Monday, May 26 City Council his desire to sign a charter of friendship with the city of Shushi (Nagorno-Karabakh). After the signing of the charter of friendship between the French city of Pennes-Mirabeau (Bouches-du-Rhône) and the city of Martuni in Nagorno-Karabakh and the city of Vienna with Hadrout (Nagorno-Karabakh) Bourg-Les-Valence would be the third French town to be bound by a friendship with a charter city of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh. A strong signal of the mayors of the three cities and strengthen the links between France and Artsakh. Marlene Mourier has also integrated the Friendship Circle France-Karabakh.
Armenian News Magazine interviewed the new mayor of Bourg-Les-Valence.
Armenian News Magazine: Ms. Marlene Mourier, you’re elected head of a city nearly 15% of its population is of Armenian origin. What is your perspective on this community?
Marlene Mourier: I meet this Armenian community for many years. Very well built, warm and generous, this community is a true example of successful integration. It is a real cultural wealth for our common Bourg-Les-Valence Valencia but also where it is large. Long since I take part in the various manifestations of this Armenian community to which I remain very attached and close. I am also very proud of my very dynamic and enterprising Armenian community in many areas.
Armenian News Magazine; when the City Council Monday 26 May you said you joined the Friendship Circle France-Karabakh and especially the forthcoming signing of the Charter of friendship between Bourg-Les-Valence and Shushi in Nagorno Karabakh. Could you give us some details on these items?
Marlene Mourier: I met the representative of the Republic of Nagorno Karabakh in France, Hovhannes Guevorguian affirmed and told him I wanted to join the Friendship Circle France-Karabakh as well as my desire to support the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh by signing a charter of friendship with the city of Shushi. A charter that will support the development of actions to schools, education, culture, Francophonie and many aspects of relations between Bourg-Les-Valence and Shushi. There a few years ago when I was in opposition, I asked our city is committed to the Nagorno-Karabakh by a declaration of friendship and support. But my request remained unanswered. And today I realize my wish to support this wonderful people of Nagorno Karabakh hooked on their ancestral lands and heroically against its invaders.
Armenian News Magazine: specifically how you intend to formalize this Charter friendship between Bourg-Les-Valence and Shushi?
Marlene Mourier: In October we go to our sister city of Talin in Armenia. Then we drive to Talin Shushi in Nagorno Karabakh to sign with my counterpart Shushi this friendship Charter. We thus establish the basis of our discussions that go in many areas related to assistance to schools, medical and humanitarian, not to mention the development of the Francophonie.
Armenian News Magazine: You’ve been in Armenia, Armenian regularly at events you denounce the non-recognition of the Armenian genocide by Turkey. Are you in favor of the bill penalizing denial of the Armenian genocide?
Marlene Mourier: you know, through my many speeches, and I especially did during the recent European campaigns, Turkey will join the EU without recognizing the Armenian genocide. This is one of the essential conditions of this entry. Of course I am in favor of a law criminalizing France in all deniers of the Armenian genocide. Because the memory is one of the qualities of the Armenian people. Genocide and especially respect for the memory of millions of Armenians who were victims of this inhuman barbarism in the early nineteenth century by Turkey is an integral part of the Armenian memory forever marked by this crime against humanity. I found in Armenia, at the ceremony on April 24 at the genocide memorial in Yerevan, where thousands of Armenians, young and old, marched silently in the greatest dignity to bow before the eternal flame Remember the 1.5 million Armenian victims of 1915. I was impressed by what people marked forever in the depths of his memory and continues a century after the events to claim justice.
Krikor Amirzayan, interview and pictures