14:59, 22 Apr 2015
Siranush Ghazanchyan

Austrian lawmakers have for the first time condemned as "genocide"
the slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks during World War I,
ahead of the massacre's 100th anniversary, according to The Local.

"April 24, 1915 marks the beginning of the persecutions, which ended in
genocide," parliament president Doris Bures said on Wednesday, before
inviting MPs to stand and observe a minute's silence for the victims.

The leaders of the country's six major parties also issued a statement
declaring that Austria, as a former ally of the Ottoman Empire, had a
"duty to recognise and condemn these horrific events as genocide."

They called on Turkey - which does not accept the highly sensitive
term - to take responsibility for its role in the mass murders.

"It is Turkey's duty to face the dark and painful chapter of its
past and recognise the crimes committed against Armenians under the
Ottoman empire as genocide," the statement read.

From: A. Papazian