ZARAGOZA, Aragon, Spain (EuFoA)—The parliament of Aragon, an autonomous region in northeast Spain, has adopted a declaration recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide. The text, which was tabled by parliament member Gregorio Briz Sanchez, pays homage to the over 1.5 million victims of the genocide and asks all Turkish institutions, including the government, to acknowledge historical fact, the European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA) reports.
Aragon is the fifth region in Spain that has recognized the Armenian Genocide, after the Basque Country, Catalonia, the Balearic Islands and Navarre.
The resolution adopted by the Aragonese parliament made reference to worldwide commemoration events this year, the centenary of the start of the Armenian Genocide, and the continued recognition efforts by international organizations, such as the European Parliament, and global leaders like Pope Francis.
In addition, the text pays tribute to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in the spirit of solidarity and European justice. It underlines that the European Union should make genocide prevention and punishment for crimes against humanity a top priority.
The resolution calls also on the government of Turkey to use the commemoration of the centenary of the Armenian Genocide as an opportunity to recognize it, to open its archives and choose the path of reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian people. It also highlights that a growing number of Turkish intellectuals, politicians and members of civil society have acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and encourages Turkish institutions to do the same.
“It is very encouraging to see that this year, not only the European, but also member states and regional parliaments have adopted resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide,” Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa, director of European Friends of Armenia, said.
“I believe that this sends a strong message to Turkey, that Europe is waiting for them to recognize their history. Today it also sends a clear signal to the Armenians: Aragonese people are standing with them in recognizing the first genocide of the 21st century.”
Ochoa adds that the text, “calls on Spain to help ensure Turkey keeps to its promise to protect and preserve Armenian cultural heritage on its territory and to have a more active role in facilitating reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey. European history provides ample examples of reconciliation between nations which can serve as a model.”