YEREVAN—Speaking at the Armenian National Assembly on Wednesday, Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian suggested that Turkey should follow in the footsteps of Germany in dealing with a genocide it committed.
“Today a large number of Jews live in Germany, but no one would dare to put under question the reality of the Holocaust,” Nalbandian said, presumably referring to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s recent remarks on American television, in which he asked PBS host Charlie Rose, “If a genocide occurred, would there be Armenians living in Turkey?”
Nalbandian, on that note, called on Ankara to follow Germany’s footsteps. “Turkey ought to follow Germany’s example through recognition, condemnation and apology,” the Foreign Minister said.
“In 1915 Talaat told Germany’s Consul General that there is no Armenian question, because there are no more Armenians. 99 years later Armenians together with the international community struggle for the prevention of new genocides, new crimes against humanity, and wait for civilized steps from Turkey,” he said.
Referring to Azerbaijan’s forthcoming presidency of the Council of Europe, Minister Nalbandian said: “The Council of Europe senior officials have expressed concern. Last week the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights made two statements, according to which the situation in Azerbaijan regarding fundamental freedoms, particularly freedom of speech and human rights in general, is deteriorating.”
“We are well aware that expressions of Armenophobia, intolerance, and hate-speech have become everyday phenomena in Azerbaijan. I think that not only the chairmanship of the Council of Europe by such a country, but even its membership in it, is not commensurate with the values of the organization,” the Foreign Minister said.
Nalbandian highlighted Azerbaijan’s dismal human rights record and rampant Armenophobia by broaching the issue of recent abuses against human rights activists and peace advocates in Azerbaijan.
“For instance, what did Azerbaijan’s head of police mean by his statements yesterday, when he claimed that the inhumane treatment of Leyla Yunus was justified by her supposed Armenian origin? A number of such expressions are well-noted in the Council of Europe and in other organizations,” Nalbandian said.