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Prime Minister’s working visit to the Council of Europe continues; Nikol Pashinyan attends inauguration of The Velvet Revolution of Armenia photographic exhibition at Palais de l'Europe


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Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan is in Strasbourg on a working visit. On April 11, Nikol Pashinyan attended the inauguration of “The Velvet Revolution of Armenia” photographic exhibition at the Palais de l'Europe.

The exhibition was inaugurated by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, Secretary General of the Council of Europe Thorbjørn Jagland and PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier.

Prime Minister Pashinyan delivered a speech in which he noted:
“Mr. Secretary-General,
Madam President of the Assembly,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear friends,

I thank you for your numerous presence and for your interest in “The Velvet Revolution of Armenia” photographic exhibition, which we have the honor to inaugurate today in a more than adequate setting which is the House of the Democracy and Human Rights.

Just a year ago, as an opposition parliamentarian, I initiated this grassroots movement to make the voice of the people heard, who stood up to say NO to authoritarianism and injustice.

I drew my strength from the solidarity and unbeatable spirit of my compatriots. Accompanied only by some sympathizers, I started the march that I named “My Step” from Gyumri, the second largest city located in the north part of Armenia, toward the capital city.

By passing from one city to another we quickly became a hundred, then a few hundred thousand. Our march has continued to grow. She immediately mobilized the whole country.

Men, women, young people especially - high school students and students who walked with us, became the driving force of this peaceful civic revolt. In particular, I wish to praise the courage of the young women who joined us with strollers and children in their arms. Their enthusiasm, their absolute rejection of injustice confirmed that my approach was right. This national mobilization became a true source of inspiration to go to the end with the certainty that Victory would be ours.

Finally, the people’s will was reinstated; democracy won! Called a revolution of love and solidarity, the Armenian Velvet Revolution was born,

I am sure that many of you have followed closely the various stages of our Revolution thanks to its wider international media coverage. I am still convinced that the clichés here exposed best convey the spirit and the strong emotion of this event of exceptional importance for us.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I have just noted in my address to the Assembly, we are particularly proud and honored to have the opportunity to celebrate the First Anniversary of the Armenian Velvet Revolution at the Council of Europe, and to reaffirm our commitment to these principles and fundamental values.
This exhibition is a tribute to human courage, it brings hope to activists for universal rights and freedoms. It is an ode to democracy and to the Council of Europe which has made an important contribution to strengthening the democratic institutions in Armenia. Thank you for being here, and I invite you to discover the exhibition.”

Liliane Maury Pasquier, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, and Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe also delivered speeches.

Ambassadors and diplomats accredited to the Council of Europe, members of the Parliamentary Assembly, officials of the Secretariat of the Council of Europe, including representatives of the Armenian community were present at the exhibition.

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan briefed PACE President Liliane Maury Pasquier and Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland on the developments that took place from April to May, 2018, reflected in photographs.

The Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia also took part in the dinner given on behalf of the PACE President during the second part of the 2019 regular session of the Parliamentary Assembly.

Accompanied by Thorbjørn Jagland, Nikol Pashinyan visited the courtyard of the Council of Europe, after which they were photographed near the khachkar placed at the entrance.

The Prime Minister of Armenia next visited the Notre-Dame de Strasbourg Cathedral. Accompanied by Deputy Mayor of Strasbourg Nawel Rafik-Elmrini and Father Bernard Xibaut, the Premier toured the Cathedral to get acquainted with the architecture and history of one of the largest sandstone-built structures.


The photographic exhibition Velvet Revolution of Armenia, organized in the Palace of Europe, aims to celebrate the anniversary of the Velvet Revolution of Armenia. The exhibition presents various stages of the popular and non-violent movement from April to May 2018, which led to radical political changes and democratic developments in Armenia.

The exhibition includes 40 photos presented in chronological order that show the events that took place during the Velvet Revolution.

The authors of the photos are: the personal photographer of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, Tigran Mehrabian, the photographers of the Armenpress news agency Gevorg Perkouperkian, Mkhitar Khachaturian, Tatev Dourian, the photographers of Photolur Haik Baghdassarian and Vahram Baghdassarian, photographers Ani Guevorguian and Hrant Khachaturian.

The Velvet Revolution of Armenia exhibition is open at the Palais de l’Europe from 8 to 12 April 2019. The organizers are the Armenian delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and the Permanent Representation of Armenia to the Council of Europe.

As part of the exhibition, the English version of the first part of the comic entitled Velvet Revolution is also presented. The creation of the comic book was initiated by the team Mario who creates Armenian comics by his own means. The book consists of 5 parts, presenting the events from April to May 2018 in chronological order.

According to the authors, the idea of creating a cartoon The Velvet Revolution was born after the victory of the revolution and tells how to achieve a peaceful change without violence.

The descriptions in the book represent events without authoritarian interventions. The episodes were based on shows and interviews of characters. It is the first commercial and independent Armenian comic strip. The presentation of the first part of the book in Armenian, Russian and English will take place on April 12 in Yerevan.

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