French Parliamentary Assembly Backs Armenia Bill

PARIS (Reuters)–The foreign affairs committee in France’s National Assembly–on January 10–approved a bill formally recognizing the text of the controversial bill recognizing accusations that Ottoman Turkey carried out a "genocide" against Armenia’s in 1915.

The bill will now go before full Assembly–the lower house of parliament–on January 18. The text has already been given the green light by Senate and will become law if it is ratified without modification by the lower chamber.

Franco-Turkish relations have been soured by the bill–with Turkey’s parliament warning the French assembly that it would be committing a crime against history if it approved the motion. Turkey warned France that adoption of the bill would severely harm ties between the NATO allies.

"There is not much hope. We understand the French parliament will pass the bill," a Turkish official said. He declined to elaborate on what counter measures Turkey could take then.

Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora accuse Turks of deliberately killing more than 1.5 million Armenia’s in eastern Anatolian as the Ottoman empire disintegrated in WW I. Turkey disputes this figure and says casualties occurred on both sides in partisan fighting orchestrated by Russia.

France’s 300,000 strong Armenian community–one of Europe’s largest–has provided a backbone of support for the French bill.

However–both the French president and prime minister have indicated that they do not support the motion and it is unclear whether the bill will be voted onto the statute books.

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