No Shift in Armenia’s Genocide Recognition Policy

YEREVAN (Armenpress/Noyan Tapan)–Armenia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamlet Gasparian said Armenia’s policy for international recognition of the 1915 genocide has not changed–and remains a foreign policy priority.

His comment came in response to Azeri and Turkish media reports that Yerevan may be considering a shift in its policy to help normalization of ties with Turkey. The reports claimed the shift may be indicated by the lack of regular reference to the genocide in next year’s draft budget sent to parliament for approval.

Gasparian said the draft budget has no relation to Armenia’s consistency and decisiveness to continue the campaign for international recognition of the genocide–adding that no previous budget has ever had a special clause earmarking such expenditures.

"The international recognition of the Armenian genocide does not refer to Armenia or Armenia’s alone; it refers to humanity and cannot be placed within a budget or other financial calculations," Gasparian said.

The lack of reference to the genocide in the budget appears to have aroused enthusiasm in Turkey and Azerbaijan. The Azeri press reported that a historical coup is taking place in Armenia. "Yeni Musavat" states that the government of Armenia is making a historical decision while trying to improve its relations with Turkey. The "Aina" newspaper writes that the Armenian authorities are taking a wiser stance on the issue of the genocide. Turkish mass media does not reveal–however–if the genocide issue has ever been included in Armenia’s budget.

According to the Istanbul-based Marmara Armenian newspaper–political observers stress that the absence of the indicated point in the budget does not indicate a change of Armenia’s policies.

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