Chirac Opposes UNESCO’s Ottoman Celebration

PARIS (Xinhua)–French President Jacques ChiracMonday expressed his opposition to the participation by the United Nations Educational–Scientific and Cultural Organization in the celebration by Turkey of the 700th anniversary of the founding of the Ottoman Empire.

Chirac made the remark after a meeting with Levon Ter-Petrosyan in Paris. He said that UNESCO’s participation in the ceremonies could be considered by Armenia’s as an insult to two million victims of the 1915-1918 Genocide committed by Turkey against Armenia’s.

Chirac said that "Turkey can do all the ceremonies it wants–as this is its most strict right." But he added that he is not favorable to a participation by UNESCO to "these commemorations of repetition."

"I have the intention to say that one cannot celebrate everything–at the risk of reviving the memories which are historical and which can lead to aggressive reactions or defense–which can hurt–which can humiliate. Thus one should be prudent," said Chirac.

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