STRASBOURG, France (Public Radio of Armenia) – According to Czech Republic President Milos Zeman, today’s increase of “Islamic terrorism” is connected with the Armenian Genocide.
“The level of international crime is growing because of Islamic terrorism. I am open and frank, and don’t use the phrase ‘Islamic terrorism’ lightly but, in the overwhelming majority of cases, it has Islamic origin,” said Zeman during a Q&A session following his address to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE). “It is connected with the Armenian Genocide.”
“I was heavily criticized when I declared the same thing as France did, but as PACE knows, the French Parliament even adopted a law about that genocide. However, I have also been criticized for having a good economic relationship with Azerbaijan,” added Zeman.
The President made the statement in response to Armenian lawmaker Arpine Hovhannisyan’s question. She acknowledged Zeman’s personal input in raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide and asked about plans to include crimes against humanity as a topic within school curriculums.
When asked what the Council of Europe can do to support the integration of this topic in the curriculums of member States, the Czech President stated “we should invest in the police and the army, and have the courage to invest in our own guns.”
Zeman explained how after his wife obtained a pistol after passing the necessary tests, he is also guarded by her in addition to his body guards.
“The second amendment to the American constitution says that everybody has the right to have a weapon – of course they must fulfill the necessary conditions and tests,” said the Czech President. “We Europeans are a little more careful than the Americans, but after Barcelona and many assassinations, I think that the difference between Europeans and Americans is not so great.”
The Chamber of Deputies of the Czech Republic approved a resolution on April 26, 2017, condemning the genocide of Armenians and other religious and national minorities in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.