37  24.04.14 - Commemoration ceremony of Genocide victims at Armenian Genocide Memorial

Foreign diplomats commemorate Armenian Genocide, urge recognition

Foreign diplomats commemorate Armenian Genocide, urge recognition

PanARMENIAN.Net - The centenary of the Armenian Genocide, to be marked in 2015, gives the countries which did not recognize it so far, an opportunity to do so, French ambassador to Armenia, Henri Reynaud said today, April 24 after paying tribute to 1.5 million Armenians killed by the government of Ottoman Turkey during World War One, ARKA reported.

"The centenary (of the Armenian Genocide) is a watershed event in the history, and it should serve as an occasion for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by those countries that have not done it yet. France calls on these countries to take advantage of this opportunity, “he told reporters.

According to him, the Genocide anniversary is a very significant and emotional event for his country that has an estimated half a million Armenian community.

"Genocide is part of the French history not only because France gave shelter to thousands of Armenian refugees in those years, but also because these people have become French citizens. This was the reason for France to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide in 2001," he said.

“We hope that by the centenary of the Armenian Genocide there will be progress in the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations that would translate into reconciliation process,” he said. According to Russian ambassador Ivan Volynkin, the humankind must always remember the Armenian Genocide and give adequate assessment to the Ottoman Turkey-perpetrated atrocities, Novosti-Armenia said. “The Genocide was a tragedy for the whole humanity, and the memory of it will help prevent such atrocities in future,” he said. “Stability and peace in the region are possible only through dialogue and reconciliation between Ankara and Yerevan,” Polish ambassador to Armenia Zdzislaw Raczynski, told Armenian reporters today after visiting the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, according to ARKA.

"We appreciate President Serzh Sargsyan’s initiative to start a dialogue with Turkey. He displayed political foresight and courage. The dialogue was halted, but we are deeply convinced that its revival is only a matter of time," said Raczynski.

German ambassador Reiner Morell believes the April 23 statement of condolences by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to be the first positive sign in Yerevan-Ankara interactions.

“The countries already have an experience of interaction while developing the rapprochement Protocols, so finding common routes of cooperation might become a possibility,” the envoy said, expressing condolences for the tragedy of Armenian people, Novosti-Armenia said.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres, and deportations involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Chamber of Deputies, majority of U.S. states, parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Chamber of Commons of Canada, Polish Sejm, Vatican, European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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Also, Abrahamyan said that a new ministry will be set up to deal with issues related to int’l economic integration and reforms.
“We should find a way to make sure that haste in the process does not harm the quality of the adopted legislation,” Manukyan said.
The initiative is implemented by Protection of Rights Without Borders NGO with the support of the OSCE Office in Yerevan.
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