French Refuse to Put Genocide Bill on Senate Agenda

PARIS (Le Monde)–The French government last week refused to place the Armenian Genocide recognition resolution on the agenda of the French Senate–where it has been pending approval since the measure cleared the French parliament last June.

The unanimous passage of the resolution in the parliament has irked Turkey–which has threatened sanctions against France and dropped a contract with the Franco-German firm of Eurocopter for the purchase of Tiger helicopters for the Turkish army.

Parliamentary relations commission chairperson Daniel Vallant announced this decision–rationalizing that decision was made to "promote stable relations in the region."

Furthermore–Vallant said the decision also aimed at encouraging friendly relations between Armenia and Turkey with the aim "creating avenues for peace."

Recently–Turkey brought Eurocopter back on the list of companies being considered for the upgrade of the Turkish military.

In the March 17 edition of Le Monde Diplomatique–an editorial regarding this matter–severely criticized the French government for bowing to Turkish pressures.

The editorial especially criticized the Socialist Party of France for prioritizing French economic relations with Turkey and ignoring the Armenian Genocide recognition and the Kurdish issue.

Le Monde Diplomatique said that in their quest for power–the French socialists would be taking a more moral approach to matters. The newspaper argued that by not adhering to their decision and platform–the party could be chastised for its hypocritical position.

Furthermore–the newspaper said–the military contract with Turkey would enable Turkey to utilize the Eurocopter helicopters on its campaign against the Kurds in the southeast.

Meanwhile in Baku–French ambassador to Azerbaijan–Jean Pierre Guinhut–told a press conference Tuesday that "Taking the bill on Armenian genocide off the Senate’s agenda meets France’s interests. This step will not damage Armenian-French relations."

He said–the bill was dropped from the Senate’s agenda on 10 March in line with government’s recommendations.

French policy in the Caucasus is based on aiding the establishment of stability in the region and all initiatives to restore peace.

However the bill on recognizing Armenian genocide presented by parliamentary deputies is at odds with the aforementioned principles. The ambassador said relations between France and Armenia would be shaped in the same way as they are with Georgia–Azerbaijan and Turkey.

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