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Karekin II: More practical steps must be taken by Christian churches on the road to searching for peace

Pope to Armenian people: Your sufferings are our own

Pope Francis participates in ecumenical meeting with Patriarch of Armenian Apostolic Church, Karekin II, in Yerevan

Police make statement over recent detentions in Yerevan

Police confirm reports on detention of activist Shant Haroutiunyan's son

Detentions continue in Yerevan

Pope Francis sends telegram to Turkish president

Pope Francis visits Church visits Armenian Apostolic Cathedral of the Seven Wounds and the Holy Martyrs Armenian Catholic Cathedral in Gyumri.

Fr. Federico Lombardi, S.J. says Pope Francis speaks about past tragedies not to inflame wounds, but to help create grounds for reconciliation

Federico Lombardi says Pope Francis enjoyed magnificent view of Biblical Mount Ararat

Pope Francis visits Our Lady of Armenia Catholic Educational Center in Gyumri, Armenia

Pope Francis expresses his gratitude to religious and civil authorities of Armenia

Pope Francis talks to the faithful

Pope Francis delivers a homily in Gyumri

Venice Commission experts make remarks about new proposals on Electoral Code of Armenia

Arsen Khojoyan, who was taken captive in Azerbaijan, kills a 17-year-old girl in Armenia

Pope Francis holding his first Mass in Gyumri, Armenia

OSCE MG urges Azerbaijan and Armenia to remove all remaining obstacles to expanding OSCE CiO Personal Representative's mission

Pope Francis and Catholicos of All Armenians arrive in Gyumri

Pope Francis visits Tsitsernakaberd Memorial dedicated to Armenian Genocide victims

Monument to Grigor Narekatsi to be erected in Vatican, Director of Holy See Press Office Federico Lombardi says

OSCE CiO Frank-Walter Steinmeier is expected to travel to South Caucasus

President Serzh Sargsyan and His Holiness Pope Francis had private meeting

Pope quotes Charents: Our turquoise sky, our clear waters, the flood of light, the summer sun and the proud winter borealis... our age-old stones ... our ancient etched books which have become a prayer

Charge pressed against commander of serviceman driven to suicide

Souvenir sheet and mini-sheet with four stamps dedicated to visit of Pope Francis to Armenia put into circulation

Zurabishvili: Ankara has always supported Tbilisi's aspirations including integration into NATO

Naira Zohrabyan: It is necessary to suppress Turkish fascism

Nino Burjanadze: It is absolutely unfavorable for Georgia to join NATO now

Situation around Nagorno-Karabakh is rather vulnerable, Ambassador Piotr Switalski says

Pope Francis arrives in Armenia

Central Valley Congressmen urge US to follow Pontiff's lead in reaffirming Armenian Genocide

Electricity price in Armenia to be reduced by 2.58 drams on Aug 1 2016

Eduard Sharmazanov sees generally positive tendency in Karabakh peace process

France-based committee for political prisoners in Armenia addresses Pope Francis over Zhirayr Sefilyan's detention

Vice Speaker of Armenian Parliament says Moscow reacted very strongly to Baku's attempt to distort situation around Karabakh

Senior advisor on Iran at the U.S. State Department says Armenia contributed to Iran's recent nuclear deal with the West

Nino Burjanadze sees no prerequisites for Saakashvili to return to power in Georgia

Armenian oppositionist MPs from Armenian National Congress Party visit Zhirayr Sefilyan at penitentiary

Russian Foreign Ministry against Azerbaijan's interpretations of results of St. Petersburg meeting

Tevan Poghosyan: Serzh Sargsyan left for Artsakh after Petersburg meeting in order to deliver "new information"

Nikol Pashinyan lodges a parliamentary request to Special Investigative Service and Police over Samvel Alexanyan case

Alekper Aliyev: Nothing can justify our protracted fratricidal war

Heritage Party recruits volunteers as members of electoral commissions and observers

PACE adopts resolution condemning situation with functioning of democratic institutions in Turkey

As many as 383 cars to be sold via auction

Stratfor: Russia's apparent objective is to shape Nagorno-Karabakh into a manageable crisis

Czech President Milos Zeman recommends that lawmakers discuss resolution denouncing Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey

ANCA: Pope's Visit to Armenian Genocide Memorial an Open Challenge to Turkey's Campaign of Denial

Pope Francis and President Serzh Sargsyan to make a joint statement in Yerevan

Regional

Turkey's parliament: The approval of the bill on penalizing the denial of the Armenian genocide in France may damage the Turkish-French relations

  • Wednesday, December 14, 11:50

 A mild rift between Turkey and France now runs the risk of evolving into a heated debate as Turkish officials exchange words with the French president in a dispute over Turkish membership in the EU, Today's Zaman reported. The Armenian issue is once again at the forefront of relations between Turkey and
France, as the French parliament plans to vote on a resolution next week that would penalize the denial of the alleged Armenian genocide, causing fury in Ankara. Turkey has warned Paris that passing the resolution would irreparably damage bilateral relations In the midst of this, Ankara repeated its warning to the French parliament to reconsider a resolution it will vote on next week that would penalize denying the alleged Armenian genocide. On Tuesday, Ankara issued a statement through the website of the Turkish Embassy in Paris ratcheting up the tone of Friday's warning.

In Tuesday's note, Ankara indicated that "French administrators should leave history to historians," and that the French parliament should refrain from deciding on historical events, the Anatolia news agency reported. The basis of Ankara's warning was tied to a report of a French parliamentary investigation commission which ruled in 2008 that parliaments should not write about historical incidents or effect penalties. If ratified, the resolution will institute a
one-year prison term and a fine of 45,000 euros for anyone who fails to acknowledge as genocide the killing of Armenians in 1915 during the fall of the Ottoman Empire. The French parliament legally termed these events genocide in 2001, but several attempts to penalize denials of the alleged genocide failed before they reached the Senate. The French debate about penalizing denials was initially revived by French President Nicholas Sarkozy when he threatened Turkey during a visit to Yerevan in October. He said that he would initiate a move to pressure Turkey to recognize the killings as genocide. Turkey's official reaction was to dismiss Sarkozy's ultimatum as pre-election rhetoric and warned the president to back off from an issue highly sensitive for the peoples of both Armenia and Turkey. However, Sarkozy's repeated assertions that Turkey does not belong in the EU because it is not a European country have drawn a more concerned reaction from Turkey. In response to Sarkozy's comments that Turkey should be "a bridge between East and West
instead of claiming a place on either side," Turkish Minister for EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bags responded on Tuesday, saying that Sarkozy was "falling deeper and deeper" as he tried to set his mistake right. "Certain politicians may have engaged in some rhetoric, worried about upcoming elections in their countries," Bags said in disregarding Sarkozy's comments. He added that Turkey was concerned with its own improvements and they have not implemented reforms "to please Europeans but to increase the quality of life of the Turkish people." Turkey has engaged in negotiations to become a
part of the 27-nation bloc for years but very little progress has been made. Sarkozy remains a known opponent to Turkish membership in the EU, although he initially envisioned including the country eventually. Diplomatic sources quoted by the Anatolia news agency on Tuesday also see Sarkozy as responsible for the vote on the resolution on Dec. 19, aiming to strengthen his position with the Armenian diaspora in France ahead of presidential elections.
Sarkozy's Socialist Party rival, Francois Hollande, is also in favor of passing legislation to criminalize denials of the so-called genocide. Turkey and Armenia remain at odds in the genocide debate, an issue that goes back to the mass killings at the onset of World War I when the Ottoman Empire was about to collapse, leaving behind a large number of casualties, specifically in 1915. Modern-day Turkey claims the numbers are exaggerated by the Armenian side, which estimates the deaths at over 1 million people, and says that people from all ethnicities and religions lost their lives in the midst of a devastating civil war. Meanwhile, Turkish Parliament speaker Cemil Cicek sent a letter to his French counterpart, Bernard Accoyer, conveying Turkey's concern over the genocide-denial bill, state-run Anatolia news agency quoted Turkish diplomats on Tuesday. Cicek warned that the bill, once approved, may damage Turkish-French relations. Sources said Cicek wrote in his letter that the duty of national parliaments is not to write history and that the issue must
be left to historians and researchers.

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