March 19, 2016 - 13:32 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The Turkish Foreign Ministry on Friday, March 18 accused Greece and Armenia of demonstrating “joint hostility” towards Turkey during Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s official visit to Athens earlier this week, RFE/RL Armenian Service reports.
The ministry spokesman, Tanju Bilgic, condemned references to the World War One-era mass killings of Armenians and Greeks in Ottoman Turkey by Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras during their meetings with Sargsyan.
At a joint news conference with the Armenian leader, Tsipras spoke of Greeks’ and Armenians’ “history of suffering and persecution,” saying that both peoples were victims of genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks. Pavlopoulos stated, in turn, that “at the beginning of the 20th century the two peoples endured tragic moments for the same reason.”
“The statements in question are the product of a pathetic mentality proving that the relations and solidarity between Greece and Armenia is built upon a joint hostility and slander against the Turkish identity,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
“Turkey and the Turkish people will never give credit to those bringing to the fore at every opportunity a dictum of history which is unlawful, one-sided and obsessive,” he added in the statement.
Official Yerevan rejected the Turkish criticism on Friday. “The centuries-old friendship between the Armenian and Greek peoples is based on their interwoven fate and mutual support,” said Tigran Balayan, the Armenian Foreign Ministry spokesman. “Making denialism the pivot of state policy does not rid Turkey of the responsibility to face its own history.” Greece officially recognized the 1915 Armenian massacres in Ottoman Turkey as genocide in 1999. In 2014, it also enacted a law making it a crime to publicly deny this and other genocides.
The Armenian parliament unanimously passed last year a resolution condemning “the genocide of Greeks and Assyrians perpetrated in the Ottoman Empire in 1915-1923.”
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