Armenian President, Foreign Minister Call for Genocide Recognition

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)—Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian said broader international recognition of the Armenian genocide is essential for preventing more crimes against humanity as he opened an international conference in Yerevan on Tuesday.

“The bitter lessons of the Armenian Genocide did not go down in the history and memory of humankind as mere memories of the past. They came to be replaced by the horrors of the Holocaust and the tragedies in Rwanda, Darfur and many other places,” he said in a speech at the two-day forum attended by genocide scholars from about 20 countries.

Sarkisian criticized the “political expediency and short-sighted opportunism” that often shape governments’ attitudes towards past and present genocides. It was a clear reference to their reluctance to recognize the 1915 massacres and deportations of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide and risk antagonizing Turkey.

“Issues related to the prevention and condemnation of genocides as well as the elimination of their consequences must be on the international community’s agenda,” said Sarkisian.

Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian made the same point. “Genocide denial and impunity pave the way for new crimes against humanity. Regardless of geopolitical or other interests, the international community must be united in condemning and preventing genocide,” Nalbandian told conference participants.

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3 Comments

  1. Zaven said:

    I want to hear the words “Armenians across the world along with the Republic of Armenia demand reparations for the crime of genocide and the rightful return of our confiscated lands” from our Presidents mouth. Until I here these words from Sarkisian, he will remain a threat to Armenia’s national security and an untrustworthy ‘leader’. Genocide recognition is sooo 1960’s. Reparations is our demand, and we shouldn’t settle for anything less.

  2. MGL said:

    ” a threat to Armenia’s national security and an untrustworthy ‘leader’”?
    Will you please stop drinking?

  3. Seervart said:

    Ayo Zaven jan, Mer hoghere, Mer anoush hoghern enk bahanchum!! Inchbes geser mer sireli anmahagan Baruyr Sevage!

    We want reparations in the form of our confiscated lands!!! The lands of Western Armenia that belonged to the Armenian people for thousands of years must be returned to the owners!!!!!

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