Bulgarian Parliament Turned down Bill Recognizing Armenian Genocide

Bulgarian lawmakers on Wednesday turned down a bill officially recognizing the Armenian genocide–saying that this could endanger relations with neighboring Turkey.

Legislators voted 81-56 with 33 abstentions against a draft resolution proposed by the Ataka party–calling for "the recognition of the Armenian genocide by the Turks."

The motion was rejected because of votes from the Socialist-led ruling coalition that also includes a mainly ethnic Turkish party–the Movement for Rights and Freedoms–the AP reports.

According to official statistics–Bulgaria–a tiny Balkan country of 7.8 million–has an 800,000-strong ethnic Turkish minority.

About 11,000 ethnic Armenia’s also live in Bulgaria–and most of them are descendants of Armenian refugees who fled Ottoman Turkey during the Armenian genocide.

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