AMSTERDAM—The lower house of the Dutch parliament, known as the Tweede Kamer, approved to consider two resolutions on Thursday one definitively recognizing the Armenian Genocide, the other calling on its foreign minister to visit Armenia in April to observe the anniversary of that crime.
According to NLTimes, both motions were submitted by Christian Union party parliament member Joel Voordewind. All four coalition parties supported the motions. Thus, when the bill is debated in parliament in the next two weeks, it is expected to pass.
The Dutch parliament recognized the Genocide in 2004 approving another measure brought forth by the Christian Union Party, which in 2011 also introduced legislation that would criminalize the denial of the Armenian Genocide
“We cannot deny history out of fear of sanctions. Our country houses the capital of international law after all, so we must not be afraid to do the right thing here too,” Voordewind said to Trouw, a Dutch publication on Friday.
The relationship between the Netherlands and Turkey is already tense, since the Netherlands refused Turkish ministers access to the country to campaign for a referendum that gave Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan more power. Recently talks to repair this relationship broke down, and the Netherlands officially recalled the Dutch ambassador to the country.
Dutch Minister of Foreign affairs Sigrid Kaag told NOS, a Dutch television network, that she respects and appreciates the Tweede Kamer’s “enthusiasm” to recognize the Armenian genocide, but will not comment on the government’s stance on the issue until she’s debated the matter with parliament next week.
Kaag would not say whether a member of the government will attend the commemoration in April. But sources in The Hague told NOS that someone will be there.
Op initiatief vd @christenunie gaat de 2e Kamer de Armeense genocide erkennen en zal op regeringsniveau de herdenking vd Armeense genocide dit jaar worden bijgewoond in Armenië. Een duidelijk signaal naar nabestaanden en waarschuwing aan potentiële daders! https://t.co/4BBuvB2gZm
— Joël Voordewind (@JoelVoordewind) February 16, 2018
Joël Voordewind said in a tweet earlier today that “the House of Representatives will recognize the Armenian genocide and this year the commemoration in Armenia will be attended at the government level.
” Turkey will not be so happy with what has been said. But in the past the Germans had to deal with this issue in the same way,” the Netherlands defense minister Ank Bijleveld was quoted as saying.
I want to thank Parliament for not being afraid to do the right thing. I’m the child of a survivor and I understand how hard it is to move on when you are told something so monumental never happened. To look at your great grandmother laugh with no teeth and know they are missing because she was held as a sex slave and her teeth were violently ripped from her mouth. Again, I thank you.
Netherlands HAD recognized the Armenian Genocide before (see the references below), but it looks like it’s a stronger stance this time around. This is much appreciated by all Armenians and human rights seeking people all over the world!
– “WASHINGTON, DC – The Dutch Parliament, this week, unanimously adopted a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide and calling on the Netherlands government to consistently bring up the Armenian Genocide in future negotiations dealing with Turkey?s accession to the European Union, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
This move comes following extensive efforts by the Federation of Armenian Organizations in the Netherlands (FAON) and its April 24th Committee, both of which worked for years with members of Parliament and representatives of their government in support of Armenian Genocide recognition.” – ANCA Press Release, 12/23/2004.
– “The Dutch Parliament passed a binding resolution yesterday recognizing the genocide of Assyrians, Greeks and Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War One. The resolution, tabled by MP Joel Voordewind from the Christian Union party, enjoyed wide support from various parties, including Christian Union, People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, Christian Democratic Appeal, Reformed Political Party and Labor Party. The resolution was strongly opposed by two Turkish MPs but passed by a strong majority vote.” – Greek Europe Reporter, 04/11/2015.
Thank you, Netherlands.
Bravo To Netherlands for recognizing the Armenian Genocide Today,
And Shame on the Ruling Party in Armenia for Beating 3 female opposition members. It is pathetic and so disappointing to see how we are acting after being survived from the first genocide perpetrated and planned by Turkey.
Thank you Dutch government for your bold & just cause for the Armenian genocide of 1915 .Thank you Dutch government .