Egyptian Parliament to Discuss Armenian Genocide Recognition

ANC Egypt Chairperson Armen Mazloumian (left) and the Egyptian Parliament
ANC Egypt Chairperson Armen Mazloumian (left) and the Egyptian Parliament

ANC Egypt Chairperson Armen Mazloumian (left) and the Egyptian Parliament

CAIRO, Egypt (Tert.am)—The parliament of Egypt, the first Islamist country to raise the Armenian Genocide issue, is preparing a draft resolution to condemn the tragedy.

When completed, the document will be submitted to the parliament speaker for further processes, says Armen Mazlumian, the chairman of the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Egypt.

“Egypt is the first Islamic country to raise the Armenian Genocide recognition issue. It is a very delicate matter, and they may encounter obstacles as it deals with political interests and policies across the region,” he said, ruling out the possibility of the initiative’s failure.

The draft resolution comes after Mostafa Bakri, an independent member of the Egyptian parliament, proposed a measure calling upon the legislative and government to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.

In a speech in parliament in July, he said historical records expose the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire between 1915 and 1922. He urged the legislative to call a special session to consider the matter. Some 337 parliamentarians signed below the draft resolution.

Mazlumian said the Armenians in Egypt raised a wave of protest in the run-up to the Genocide centennial in an attempt to call attention to the problem. “The Egyptian TV channels, and books raised awareness of the Armenian Genocide; a lot of work was carried out also in universities. That increased interest in the topic among the Egyptians. When Egypt’s relations with Turkey deteriorated, and Turkey began intervening in the country’s domestic policies, Egypt embarked on efforts towards countering the Turkish policies,” he added.

Meantime, Mazlumian described the move as a humanistic rather than a political initiative. “They say dispossessed Armenians must stand by their rights. They say they have always offered support to the dispossessed,” he added.

“It is really notable that an Islamist state is vocal about the Armenian Genocide. There is an opinion that it [the Genocide] was not religiously motivated but was rather aimed at realizing the pan-Turkism program. After the recognition of [the Genocide] by Egypt, Turkey will be facing increasing pressure by the international community.”

Mazlumian said he believes that such processes in different part across the globe will eventually make Turkey come to terms with its defeat and pay reparations to the Armenians.

He added they intend to continue the dialogue with Egyptian lawmakers to finally achieve the adoption of the resolution.

“It is important to put matters right, and to rule out external interventions. This is an internal issue for Egypt; they have initiated the process, so the decision lies with them. Also, Armenia must establish closer relations with the Arab world, especially Egypt. We must always stand by Egypt,” he added.

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