05 October 2006

1081) Kocharyan also Opposes French Genocide Bill

Armenian President Robert Kocharyan reportedly opposes the French draft law that will penalize the denial of the alleged Armenian genocide.

The Turkish delegation, which recently traveled to Paris to make contacts regarding the draft to be discussed at the French parliament on Oct. 12, noted that Kocharyan told French President Jacques Chirac during his visit to Yerevan that Armenia did not favor the adoption of the draft. It has been reported that Kocharyan cited the draft as possibly harmful to Armenia’s relations with Turkey. . . Meanwhile, the delegation returned to Ankara with no hopes of preventing its adoption by the French parliament.

The delegation, comprising deputies Mehmet Dulger, Onur Oymen, Sukru Elekdag and Musa Sivacioglu, was unable to meet with the Socialist Party parliamentarians, who have been pushing for adoption of the draft. The Socialist politicians abstained from scheduling an appointment with the Turkish deputies. A small group of socialist deputies who accepted to meet the delegation cancelled the appointment.

The delegation could meet only with socialist deputy Jack Lang, who had announced his opposition to the draft, People’s Majority Alliance’s Assembly Group Chairman Bernard Accoyer, Chairman of the Assembly Jean Louis Debre and the Chairman of the Parliament Commission of EU Affairs Lequiller. Stating that the politicians the delegation met with stressed their opposition to the draft, the deputies in the delegation also observed that the draft was regarded as an election ploy.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy will reportedly take care of the situation following a phone call from Turkish PM Erdogan. To this end, Sarkozy is expected to address a letter to Prime Minister Erdogan. Elysee Palace, however, informed the Turkish Embassy in Paris that there was no change in the position of Chirac, who had urged Turkey to recognize the alleged Armenian genocide during his visit to Armenia.

By Ali Ihsan Aydin, Paris
October 05, 2006


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