Precedent Set in UK with Passage of Armenian Genocide Legislation

UK COUNTY COUNCIL PASSES MOTION RECOGNIZING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE; CALLS ON TURKEY TO END CRIPPLING ECONOMIC BLOCKADE OF ARMENIA

London–In response to requests from the Wales-Armenia Solidarity organization–the UK Gwynedd County Council passed a motion recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

Presented by the President of the Plaid Cymru Party Dafydd Iwan–the Motion received overwhelming cross-party support from the Labor Party–Liberal Democrats–Independent Wales Party–Councilors of the Independent group–as well as the majority Plaid Cymru Councilors.

Commenting on the action–the London-based Campaign for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (CRAG)–expressed "deep satisfaction" at the precedent set in Wales last Thursday.

In October of 2002–the majority of members of the National Assembly of Wales signed a Declaration of Opinion–again recognizing the Armenian Genocide. And while the Prime Minister Wales Rhodri Morgan–personally recognized the genocide on April 24–2001–the action taken by the Gwynedd County Council marks the first time an elected body in Wales or the UK–has voted to recognize the truth of the Genocide.

A trigger mechanism–however–does not the Motion–as approved by Gwynedd County Council–to be circulated to all local authorities in Wales for support and signature.

Raffi Sarkissian of the CRAG Board–stressed–"This Motion is a memorable achievement in the field of human rights–and it is the hope of CRAG that the British Government will follow suit and recognize also the truth of the Armenian Genocide–as have done many British politicians–historians–and writers in the past." Gwynedd Council text and motion: Armenia and Karabagh serve as inspirations for all small nations who have previously been silenced–and it is the sacred duty of nations like Wales to make their voice heard on these issues"–said a spokesperson for Wales-Armenia Solidarity. It added–"We hope that this will result in the re-emergence of a bond of friendship between our two nations. [A Wales-Armenia Society existed in 1896]. We hope to establish a cultural exchange in the future. Gwynedd Council:

1. Recognizes the truth of the Genocide of the Armenia’s that occurred under the Turkish government in 1915.

2. Calls on Turkey to end its economic blockade of the Republic of Armenia.

3. Calls on the government of Britain and the National Assembly of Wales not to support Turkish entry into the European Union until the Turkish government has recognized the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and has ended its economic blockade of Armenia.

4. Calls on the Local Authorities of Wales to support this declaration.

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