Turks Comment on France Genocide Bill

PARIS–The Armenian Genocide bill–newly prepared by political groups within the French Senate–was expected to be voted on Tuesday–and was considered to be "a matter of urgency," the Anatolia news agency reported.

There is reportedly no difference at all between this new bill and a previous one which was accepted by the French Parliament but never made it to the Senate. The reason it is being seen this time is that it is being introduced as a "personal initiative."

The bill–not a non-binding resolution like the one recently withdrawn from the U.S. Congress–contains the expression–"France officially recognizes that Armenia’s were subjected to an act of genocide in 1915." Diplomatic channels between France and Turkey have recently seen frantic activity over the bill–with President Sezer–Defense Minister Sabahattin Cakmakoglu and Foreign Minister Ismail Cem each having sent a letter to their French counterparts expressing Turkey’s sensitivities on the matter.

The Armenian lobby in France has tried many times to get France to recognize that a genocide took place in 1915 at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Just recently–the French Senate Chairmanship Council ruled against putting such resolutions on the Senate agenda–saying that the Senate does not have the right to judge history and that such a bill or resolution would damage peace and stability in the Caucasus. The reason the bill is being requested to be put on the parliamentary agenda now is said to be the result of a conflict between right and left-wing parties in the Senate and in Parliament with the right attempting to make the left-wing coalition take on more responsibility.

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