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La Francophonie summit kicks off in Yerevan

2018-10-11 23:54:18 (Beijing Time)         news.xinhuanet.com

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Attendees pose for a group photo at the opening ceremony of the 17th summit of the International Organization of the Francophone in Yerevan, Armenia on Oct. 11, 2018. The 17th summit of the International Organization of the Francophone, more commonly known as La Francophonie, officially opened in Yerevan on Thursday. More than 80 foreign delegations and over 25 leaders attended the event. (Xinhua/Gevorg Ghazaryan)

YEREVAN, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- The 17th summit of the International Organization of the Francophone, more commonly known as La Francophonie, officially opened in Yerevan on Thursday.

More than 80 foreign delegations and over 25 leaders attended the event.

In his opening remarks, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan highlighted the efforts by Francophone countries and regions to resolve conflicts and crises, highlighting that the Yerevan summit was to address multiple issues that were "challenges for Armenia" as well, including peace and stability.

French President Emmanuel Macron addressed the summit, paying tribute to the late French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour and stressing that the summit was taking place at a critical moment of significant global changes.

"The cornerstones of La Francophonie are fraternity, peace and justice," the French leader said.

The closing ceremony will take place on Friday following a number of working meetings, voting on resolutions and a joint press conference.

The government has undertaken unprecedented security measures in Armenia's capital, urging citizens to get around on the metro during the two days of the summit.

The International Organization of La Francophonie was founded in 1970. It has 58 members and 26 observers which either speak French or have had cultural or historical ties with France. Armenia has been a full member of the organization since 2012.