Armenian Leader Criticizes Turkey's 'Utter Denial’ Of Genocide
WATCH: Armenians React To Erdogan's Statement On WWI Killings
Last updated (GMT/UTC): 24.04.2014 11:34
Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has criticized Turkey for failing to recognize the mass killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians during World War I by Ottoman forces as genocide.
In a statement on April 24 marking Remembrance Day, when Armenians around the world honor those who died, Sarkisian said Turkey "continues its policy of utter denial."
Sarkisian said Armenia remembers, however, "all those Turkish families who lent a helping hand to their Armenian neighbors" during the war.
Sarkisian's comments come a day after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan offered condolences to descendants of the victims, saying in a statement that "the incidents of the First World War are our shared pain."
It is believed to be the first time a Turkish prime minister has offered such explicit condolences.
The U.S. State Department welcomed Erdogan's “historic public acknowledgement of the suffering that Armenians experienced in 1915."
Turkey rejects the term genocide, saying thousands of Turks also were killed in fighting.
Based on reporting by AFP and dpa