Aznavour Swaps Stage For Diplomatic Career

YEREVAN (Reuters/AFP) — French singer Charles Aznavour recently announced he has agreed to become ambassador to Switzerland for his ancestral homeland Armenia.

Aznavour, 84, was born in France of Armenian parents and established an
international singing career that still takes him around the globe.

“At first I hesitated, because I thought that this is no easy matter,” Aznavour
said in comments broadcast on Armenian television. “But then I thought that in the end, what is important for Armenia must be important for all of us.”

“I accepted this proposal with pleasure, joy and a deep feeling of honor,” said
Aznavour, who was granted Armenian citizenship last December.

Born Shahnur Aznavourian in Paris to Armenian parents, the singer has maintained close links with Armenia and is among the bestknown figures of France’s 400,000-strong Armenian Diaspora. After the 1988 earthquake in Armenia that killed 25,000 people, Aznavour set up a foundation and organized a series of charity concerts to help quake victims.

He also serves as Armenia’s permanent delegate to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The author of more than 1,000 songs, Aznavour is one of France’s most popular singers and is the first French performer to have a recording that went platinum in Europe. He has sold more than 100 million records worldwide.