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.