Officials React to French Senate Decision

LOS ANGELES–The French Senate’s rejection of consideration of an Armenian Genocide Resolution–which had previously been approved by the French National Assembly produced reactions of regret and disappointment from various sources–with the exception of Turkish president Suleyman Demirel–whose congratulatory letter to French Chirac carried a jubilant tone.

The Foreign Ministry of the Republic of Armenia released a statement through spokesperson Ara Papian–in which the Ministry’s disappointment was announced at the decision taken in the French Senate. The statement read–"Despite the fact that France has once again given into Turkish pressures–we are convinced that French–as a bastion of human rights–will eventually once day recognized the undeniable reality of the Armenian Genocide."

The story of the Genocide Resolution was carried by all Turkish media outlets in turkey and abroad–with commentators expressing satisfaction with the French Senate’s decision.

In this regard–Turkish president Suleyman Demirel sent a letter of appreciation to his French counterpart–thanking him for the Senate’s decision. A day earlier–Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit had directed some harsh words and threats to Chirac and Prime Minister Lionel Jospin–promising economic and diplomatic retaliation–in case the resolution were to pass the Senate. Turkish media outlets also interviewed Patriarch Mesrob II in this regard. The patriarch in his commen’s that he saw a resolution to the conflict between the Turkish and Armenian nations through dialogue. He explained–"The Armenia’s living in Turkey are Armenian by descent and of the same and race as the people of Armenia…The Armenia’s in this country are also loyal citizens and compatriots of the Republic of Turkey. Hence–at times like this we find ourselves right in the middle of the two poles of our identity." In covering this story–the Turkish media also condemned American presidential candidate George Bush for publicly recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

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