Hollande not to act in rush on ‘genocide’

Hollande not to act in rush on ‘genocide’

Hollande not to act in rush on ‘genocide’

François Hollande promised in election campaigns he would pass the law. ABACA photo

The new French government will have to consider the decision of the Constitution Council before renewing attempts to legislate penalizing the denial of the alleged Armenian genocide, according to French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

“On the Armenian question, we must consider the decision of the Constitutional Council,” Fabius said in an interview with French newspaper Le Monde.

Endorsed by former French President Nicholas Sarkozy, the bill strained already tense relations between Ankara and Paris in early 2012. Though the Parliament and Senate approved the bill, the Constitutional Council annulled it on the grounds that it was unconstitutional and in violation of freedom of expression.

‘Mending ties not easy’

President François Hollande promised his French-Armenian electorate in election campaigns he would also pass the law. “However, there are legal constraints,” Fabius said, without giving details. “[Repairing ties with Turkey] is not easy,” Fabius said, but added: “Anyway, it’s important to renew relations with Turkey, which plays a major role, both economically and diplomatically, for example on the Syrian and Iranian issues.”

According to diplomatic sources, the Armenian genocide issue is still a potential threat to bilateral relations.