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.