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September 30, 2006 -- French President Jacques Chirac, on a visit to Yerevan, today attended a ceremony for the victims of the 1915-17 mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey.
AFP quotes Chirac as saying Turkey should recognize the massacres as genocide before its possible accession to the European Union.
In 2001, France officially recognized the World War I mass killings as genocide, which strained its relations with EU aspirant Turkey.
Turkey argues that the hundreds of thousands of Armenians that were killed died as part of an internal conflict and rejects the claim of genocide.
Also today, Chirac called for a peaceful resolution to the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict over Nagorno-Karabakh.
Chirac arrived in Armenia on September 29 for a three-day visit.
CALL IT GENOCIDE? Questions surrounding the mass killings of Armenians at the beginning of the last century continue to dominate relations between Armenia and Turkey. In April,
Ankara proposed conducting a joint Armenian-Turkish investigation into the mass killings and deportations of Armenians during World War I.
Turkish leaders suggested that the two countries set up a joint commission of historians to determine whether the massacres carried out between 1915 and 1917 constituted genocide. Armenia, however, insisted it would continue to seek international recognition and condemnation of what it says was a deliberate attempt at exterminating an entire people....(more)
Armenians Mark 90th Anniversary Of Start Of Massacres
Armenia: Tragedy Remains On Europe’s Political Map
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