Turkey 'warned' Canada and U.S. against using term 'genocide' April 24

PanARMENIAN.Net - Turkey warned Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week not to issue an April 24 declaration where the incidents of 1915 are defined as genocide. The Canadian Parliament recognized the Armenian Genocide and Harper became one of the few heads of state to use the word "genocide" in his written statement during 2006.

Wary of these genocide claims spreading to other countries including the United States, Turkey is trying hard to block efforts by the Armenian Diaspora in almost every country in the world.

Canadian Prime Minister Harper was warned through diplomatic channels last week that "repeating these claims annually will not help in normalizing Turkey-Armenia relations and will harm Turkish-Canadian bilateral relations as well." "We hope that the Canadian PM will not repeat this year what he did last year," a high-level Foreign Ministry official said, the Turkish Daily News reports.

Ankara made the same diplomatic attempt with the United States before April 24 where President George W. Bush also issues a declaration. Turkish officials said Ankara is not expecting Bush to use the word genocide. U.S. presidents prefer to define the incidents in 1915 as a massacre.

Canadian Prime Minister Steven Harper made a statement in connection with the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. "Today we recall the horrible losses of 1915 in the Ottoman Empire, particularly the terrible tragedy of the Armenian nation. Last year I reminded, the both chambers of Canadian Parliament adopted a resolution that recognizes the first genocide of the 20th century. This day makes us remember why we should do everything possible to guarantee rule of human rights and democratic freedoms in our times. Today Canadians with Armenian and Turkish descent live side by side and share values of tolerance. We hope Armenia and Turkey will guide themselves with those values in order to develop their relations. Together with you we recall the past and share your hopes for building the future based on peace and mutual respect," said Steven Harper in his statement.

George W. Bush failed to define the events of 1915 as genocide in his annual April 24 statement.
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