France hopes for wider international recognition of Armenian Genocide ahead of 100th anniversary -
ARKA - France hopes for a wider international recognition of the fact of Armenian Genocide ahead of its 100th anniversary in 2015, French Ambassador to Armenia Henri Reynaud said Friday at a news conference.
He said French President Francois Hollande had repeatedly expressed wish to attend the events to be held in Armenia to mark the anniversary.
The ambassador also welcomed Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s invitation addressed to the Turkish president who will be elected to come to Armenia for these events.
France wants, he said, to see progress in the process of normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations and it is ready to support Armenia’s efforts to reach this progress.
There are no diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. The border between the two countries was closed in 1993 at Ankara’s initiative.
Relations between Armenia and Turkey remain tense because of Ankara’s biased stance on Karabakh problem and its painful reaction to Armenia’s efforts to obtain worldwide recognition of the fact of Armenian Genocide.
Thaw in Armenian-Turkish relations began in 2008 on Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan’s initiative.
On October 10, Armenian and Turkish foreign ministers signed the protocols on establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries and development of bilateral relations. The protocols had to be ratified by the two countries’ parliaments, but on April 22, 2010, the Armenian president, seeing that Turkey was dragging its feet, signed a decree ceasing the process of ratification. He said Turkey was not ready to continue the process.
Armenian genocide was the first genocide committed in the 20th century. Turkey rejects the accusation of massacres and the killing of one and a half million Armenians during World War I.
The fact of the Armenian genocide is recognized by many countries, particularly by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, most of the U.S. states, as well as by the parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium, Wales, National Council of Switzerland, Common House of Canada, the Seym of Poland and lower house of Italian parliament.