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100th Anniversary, April 2015, Armenian Genocide, Centennial, Commemoration, Recognition, Turkey

European Parliament Adopts Bill on Genocide Centennial, Calls on Turkey to Reconcile with Past

BRUSSELS— During its plenary session, the European Parliament adopted a resolution today on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD). The European Council was represented by Kalinina Lukaševica and the European Commission Kristalina Georgieva, Vice-President of the European Commission and Commissioner for the Budget and Human Resources.

The resolution on the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide, which was supported by all political groups in the European Parliament, stated: “Whereas an increasing number of member states and national parliaments recognize the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire; whereas one of the main motivations of the European unification movement is the will to prevent the recurrence of wars and crimes against humanity in Europe; …whereas the importance of keeping the memories of the past is paramount, since there can be no reconciliation without the truth and remembrance; Pays tribute, on the eve of the Centenary, to the memory of the one-and-a-half million innocent Armenian victims who perished in the Ottoman Empire; joins the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide in a spirit of European solidarity and justice; calls on the Commission and Council to join the commemoration.”

In calling on its member states to recognize the Armenian Genocide, the resolution refers to the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013, adopted on Mach 12, and the European Union’s policy on the matter.

It further stresses that “the European Parliament calls on Turkey to come to terms with its past by recognizing the Armenian Genocide and thus pave way for a genuine reconciliation.”

The resolution also recalls the Parliament’s resolution of June 18, 1987 in which inter alia it has recognized that the tragic events that took place in 1915-17 against the Armenians in the territory of the Ottoman Empire represent a genocide as defined in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948; and further condemns all occurrences of crimes against humanity and genocide and strongly deplores any attempts of their denial.

The European Parliament resolution calls for the establishment of an “International Remembrance Day for Genocides” and stresses that the timely prevention and effective punishment of genocide and crimes against humanity should be among the main priorities of the international community and the EU.

An unprecedented number of members of the European Parliament took the stage and showed their solidarity to the Armenian nation, and in support of the resolution and specifically for calling what befell the Armenians a genocide. Pope Francis’ message of reconciliation and peace was also mentioned and included in the final version of the resolution.

Click Here to Read Full Article: Armenian Weekly

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