Hollande makes overtures to French-Armenian community regarding law on the criminalization of Armenian Genocide denial.
PARIS (Combined Sources)–Turkish ruling party leader and the former chairman of PACE on Monday warned that French president Francoise Hollande is “more dangerous than Sarkozy” when it comes to the issue of criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Meanwhile, Hollande has reached out to the French-Armenian community and reiterated his campaign pledge to shepherd a law that would criminalize the Armenian Genocide.
Interest was renewed in the Genocide law last week, when French foreign minister Laurent Fabius told his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu that it was unlikely that the law criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide would be “resurrected.”
However, Monday’s attacks by Mevlut Cavusoglu are is stark contrast to reports that Ankara ended all sanctions it has imposed on France following the passage of the bill in the two houses of the French parliament. Davutoglu confirmed his government’s intentions while meeting with Fabius in Paris last week.
“Incumbent President of France Francoise Hollande is more dangerous than ex-President Nicolas Sarkkozy in regard to the criminalization of the denial of the Armenian Genocide,” Cavusoglu, who is a leading member of the ruling AKP party and the former president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe said in an interview with SalamNews.
“It was Hollande’s Party that proposed to put the bill criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial on the agenda. Although the bill was proposed by Sarkozy’s party last year, most of its supporters were from Hollande’s party,” Cavusoglu explained.
“Hollande has promised to adopt the bill, and he is now trying to realize it. From this point of view Hollande is much more dangerous than Nicolas Sarkozy,” reiterated Cavusolgu.
Hollande, over the weekend, said he would honor his promise to reintroduce a new bill that will make the denial of the Armenian Genocide in France a crime.
During a phone conversation with Armenian Revolutionary Federation leader and the co-chairman of the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organization of French (CCAF) Mourad Papazian, Hollande said he does not break his promises.
“Francois Hollande has again expressed his willingness to propose a bill designed to curb the denial of the Armenian genocide, as he had said during his campaign and even before,” the CCAF said in a statement.
The presidential Elysee Palace confirmed the telephone conversation and told AFP on Saturday: “The president expressed his commitments during the campaign. He will keep them.” “There is no change, although we must find a path, a road that allows for a text that is consistent with the constitution,” it said.
In a related development, the CCAF’s two co-chairmen, Ara Toranian and Mourad Papazian, met with Hollande’s aide, Faouzi Lamdaoui, on Monday. The French-Armenian news portal Armenews.com reported that they discussed details of a meeting between the French president and the CCAF leadership scheduled for the second half of this month. It quoted Lamdaoui as saying that Hollande is intent on drafting, “as soon as possible,” a new law making it a crime to deny that the 1915 massacres in Ottoman Turkey constituted genocide, reported RFE/RL.
Hollande publicly promised to do that when he marked the genocide anniversary with thousands of Armenians in a central Paris square on April 24. He said the law should be drawn up with “utmost legal security” in order to ensure its approval by the country’s highest court.