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UN Chief Considers 1915 Slaughters Of Armenians 'Atrocity Crimes'

A spokesman for Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has said the UN chief considers the mass killing of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago "atrocity crimes."

Speaking to reporters on April 13, Stephane Dujarric also said that Ban is “fully aware of the sensitivities related to the characterization of what happened in 1915."

The comments come after Pope Francis called the killings "the first genocide of the 20th century" at a special remembrance mass on April 12.

Hours after Francis spoke, Ankara said it was recalling its ambassador to the Vatican for consultations.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that "to read these sorrows in a one-sided way is inappropriate for the pope and the authority that he holds."

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter that the pope's statement was "far from the legal and historical reality" and "cannot be accepted."

Based on reporting by AP and dpa