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Spain’s Aragon recognizes Armenian Genocide

Spain’s Aragon recognizes Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - Parliament of Aragon, Spain, adopted Wednesday, December 2, a declaration recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide.

Introduced by MP Gregorio Briz Sánchez, the document pays homage to the over 1.5 million Armenian victims killed by the Ottoman Empire and calls on all Turkish institutions, including the government, to acknowledge the historical fact.

In addition, the text pays tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in a spirit of solidarity and European justice. It underlines that the European Union should make genocide prevention and punishment of crimes against humanity a top priority.

The resolution calls also on the government of Turkey to use the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide centenary as an opportunity to recognize it, open its archives and choose the path of reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian people. It also highlights that a growing number of Turkish intellectuals, politicians and members of civil society have acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and encourages Turkish institutions to do the same.

“It is very encouraging to see that this year, not only the European, but also member states and regional parliaments have adopted resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa, director of European Friends of Armenia said. “I believe that the move sends a strong message to Turkey, suggesting Europe is waiting for them to recognize their history.”

The text further calls on Spain to ensure Turkey keeps its promise to protect and preserve the Armenian cultural heritage on its territory and have a more active role in facilitating reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey.

Aragon is the fifth region in Spain to recognize the Armenian Genocide, following the Basque Country, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Navarre.

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, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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