Turkey Will Have to Recognize Genocide Sooner or Later Envoy Says

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan)–Armenia has managed to focus international community attention on the issue of genocide–Armenia’s special envoy Ashot Melik-Shahnazarian told journalists Wednesday at a gathering dedicated to the 50th anniversary of adoption of the UN Convention on Prevention and Punishment for Genocide held at the Armenia-based UN Office. The event was attended by UN representatives and international law experts.

In his speech Melik-Shahnazarian noted that on December 2 the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution dedicated to the 50th anniversary of the said UN Convention.

He outlined the importance that the resolution was drafted and presented to the UN General Assembly by the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

Melik-Shahnazarian stressed the importance of adoption of the resolution since the genocide of Armenia’s perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915 had not yet been recognized. A representative of the Foreign Ministry also announced that Turkey and Azerbaijan were among 86 UN member-states that supported the resolution.

According to the Armenian diplomat the resolution was the first step taken by Armenia in this direction in the last seven years.

"This issue prompted Cyprus and Rwanda to raise the problem of genocide," Melik-Shahnazarian noted–adding that the genocide of Armenia’s had been recognized by parliamen’s of Belgium and France this year. He said that sooner or later Turkey will have to recognize the genocide.

Shahnazarian commented that Armenia’should carry out necessary programs to push for recognition of the genocide by the international community. "We’ve already got a concrete program," he added–without elaborating.

The Armenian Foreign Ministry–will continue further activities in the process of garnering international recognition of the Armenian Genocide–foreign ministry spokesman Arsen Gasparian said at a briefing Tuesday–stressing the importance of the "50th anniversary of the Convention on prevention and punishment for genocide" resolution adopted at the 53rd session of the UN General Assembly last week.

The resolution was placed on the agenda at the suggestion of the Armenian delegation joined by representatives of five other nations. The number of the co-sponsors of the draft resolution reached 86–and the document was adopted without voting.

According to Gasparian–several delegations expressed gratitude to Armenia for raising the issue. Aside from Armenia’s ambassador to the UN–representatives from Cyprus and Rwanda also discussed the Armenian Genocide during their remarks.

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