AZG Armenian Daily
MASONS OF FRENCH "GREAT EAST" LODGE ADVOCATING THE RECOGNITION OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
AZG Armenian Daily #076
By A. Haroutiunian
As "Azg" has already reported, a delegation of a rather influential Mason lodge has arrived in Armenia recently. Previously it was reported that the delegation’s mission was to establish a Mason organization in Armenia, but on a press conference delegation members Claude Geidan, George Ferre and Guy Akobian assured that their visit was first aimed at expressing their regret about the victims of the Armenian Genocide and condemn the greatest crime of the 20th century.
Claude Geidan, Second Grandmaster of the "Great East" lodge, that it was established already in the 18th century and at present has about 50 thousand members. He said the lodge is neither a political nor commercial organization, and its sole mission is to preach the principles of freedom, equity and brotherhood.
Third Grandmaster George Ferre assured that the Masons never doubt the fact of the Armenian Genocide. "The events of the beginning of the 20th century was a part of Ottoman Turkey’s policy of extermination of Armenians, and the present policy of denial is the continuation of the Genocide," he said. Moreover, he said that the Masons involved in the perpetration of the Genocide are also worthy of condemnation. He informed that "Great East" lodge calls upon its counterparts in Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The Mason participants of the press conference said that they had an audience with eth Foreign Minister of Armenia Vardan Oskanian. They declared that they didn’t have a single meeting with any Armenian representative of Mason structures. Claude Geidan added that this is his first visit to Armenia and he does not know well the Armenian politicians and officials.
As the "Great East" lodge functions openly, unlike the secret activity of other Mason structures, the delegation members were asked to explain that. The Second Grandmaster said that their lodge is rather modest than secret, although there is a number of Mason organizations in France that are enshrouded with mystery. He added that their lodge has nothing in common with Anglo-Saxon Masons that "thrust their nose" in any business worldwide.
It is noteworthy that "Great East" members never visit states ruled by dictatorship, therefore they consider Armenia a democratic state, said the delegation members. Being asked whether their visit is to result in establishment of a Mason structure in Armenia, George Ferre repeated that the aim of their visit was to take part in the ceremony dedicated to the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.