Aznavour named ambassador to Switzerland

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Armenian president Serzh Sarkisian appoints French singer Charles Aznavour ambassador to Switzerland.

YEREVAN - Charles Aznavour, the popular French singer, was appointed ambassador to Switzerland for his ancestral homeland Armenia, the Armenian presidency said Wednesday.

President Serzh Sarkisian appointed Aznavour ambassador to Switzerland and Armenia's permanent delegate to the United Nations office in Geneva, the presidency said in a brief statement.

Aznavour only received Armenian citizenship in December 2008.

He told Armenian television in February that he accepted an offer to become the country's ambassador to Switzerland "with pleasure and joy".

"At first I had doubts... but then I thought that what is important for Armenia should be important for us all," he said at the time.

Born Shahnur Aznavourian in Paris to Armenian parents, the 84-year-old singer maintained close ties with Armenia and is among the best-known figures of France's 400,000-strong Armenian community.

After the 1988 earthquake in Armenia that killed 25,000 people, Aznavour started a foundation and organised a series of charity concerts to help the victims.

Aznavour is the first French performer to have a recording that went platinum in Europe. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.

AFP / Expatica

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