France offers to host Turkish-Armenian history meeting

France offers to host Turkish-Armenian history meeting

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
France offers to host Turkish-Armenian history meeting

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe speaks during a press conference in Ankara today. AFP photo

France's foreign minister today said that his country could host a Turkish-Armenian joint history commission meeting.

Alain Juppe defined the incidents of 1915 as a challenging issue, and all countries were making a memory homework about their history.

Such a memory homework could be done in a history commission, Juppe told a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in Ankara.

Juppe defined those days as a troublesome for both Turkey and Armenia, and said France may host a joint history meeting.

The French foreign minister expressed thought that a significant progress could be made in such a meeting.

Davutoğlu, in his part, said Turkey had accepted Juppe's call for establishment of a joint history commission to investigate incidents of 1915.

"We are ready to discuss our own history and other countries' history in an atmosphere of mutual respect and freedom," he said.

Davutoğlu said however, Turkey was against laws and resolutions that would make its self-defense impossible, and noted that there was such a resolution at the French Senate today.

"Implementation of this resolution is against French intellectual tradition and freedom of thought," Davutoğlu said.

Davutoğlu said Turkey would welcome any initiative from France regarding establishment of a joint history commission between Turkey and Armenia, and hoped that it would contribute to Turkish-Armenian rapprochement and normalize relations.

In 2005, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan sent a letter to the then Armenian President Robert Kocharyan and proposed to establish a joint commission of historians to study the Ottoman-era incidents of 1915.