Paris calls for calm ahead of critical vote

Paris calls for calm ahead of critical vote

PARIS - Agence France-Presse
France appealed for calm after a Turkey threatened “permanent” sanctions if French senators pass a bill later yesterday to outlaw denial of the Armenian genocide allegations.

 The French lower house drew a first wave of Turkish ire last month, when it approved the bill which threatens with jail anyone in France who denies that the 1915 Armenians killings are amounted to genocide. Ankara froze political and military ties with France and has promised further measures if the bill is passed by the Senate or is approved by President Nicolas Sarkozy, whose right-wing UMP party put forward the bill. “We appeal for calm,” said French foreign ministry spokesman Bernard Valero. “Turkey is a very important partner and ally of France,” he said, with senators due to vote on the diplomatically fraught bill later yesterday. Trade between France and Turkey was worth 12 billion Euros in 2010, with several hundred French businesses operating there. Turks and Armenians began gathering to stage demonstrations outside the Senate ahead of the debate, set for yesterday afternoon, with police keeping them some distance apart.

20 countries recognize ‘genocide’

ISTANBUL – Hürriyet Daily News

A total of 20 countries around the world have now recognized the Armenian “genocide” and many of them also commemorate April 24.

Chili, Argentine, Uruguay, Venezuela, Canada, Russia, Poland, Slovakia, Belgium, Holland, France, Switzerland, Lithuania Sweden, Germany, Italy, Greek Cyprus, Greece, Lebanon are the 20 countries who acknowledge an Armenian “genocide” took place in 1915, the NTV news channel reported on its website yesterday.

Uruguay was the first country to officially accept allegations of the Armenian “genocide” when the Armenian Diaspora successfully lobbied Parliament to pass a law April 20, 1965. The country also marks April 24 as “the day to commemorate martyrs.”