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Sarkozy Confirms Intention To Present New Genocide Bill

French President Nicolas Sarkozy
French President Nicholas Sarkozy has promised Armenians he will eventually secure the adoption of a law that would make it a crime to deny that the 1915 mass killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks amounted to genocide.

Sarkozy made the pledge at a meeting with representatives of the French Armenian community at Elysee Palace on March 7.

The French parliament passed a bill introducing a punishment of up to one year in prison or a fine of 45,000 euros for denying that the genocide occurred.

But France's Constitutional Council later declared the bill unconstitutional, prompting Sarkozy's office to express "great disappointment and profound sadness" and vow to get a more acceptable version of the bill approved into law.

Sarkozy is running for reelection in April and critics have accused him of using the genocide issue to garner support among France's ethnic Armenian minority population, estimated at around 600,000 people.

With Itar-TASS and reporting

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