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Czech President Wants Parliament To Recognize Armenian Genocide

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian (left) welcomes visiting Czech counterpart Milos Zeman in Yerevan on June 8.

Czech President Milos Zeman says he will ask parliament to adopt a resolution recognizing the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as genocide.

Zeman was speaking in Yerevan on June 8 during talks with his Armenian counterpart, Serzh Sarkisian.

During Sarkisian's official visit to Prague in January 2014, Zeman publicly called the killings of Armenians during World War I a genocide.

The Czech president's latest comments come after Germany on June 2 became the 23rd country to recognize the killings as genocide.

The World War I-era mass slaughter and deportation of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks is considered by many historians and several countries a genocide.

Turkey objects, saying that Armenians died in much smaller numbers and because of civil strife rather than a planned Ottoman government effort to annihilate the Christian minority.

Based on reporting by and Cesky Rozhlas