PRAGUE (RFE/RL and Armenpress) -- Czech President Milos Zeman said this
week that the mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey amounted to

"Next year it will be 100 years since the genocide of the Armenian
people in the year of 1915, when 1.5 million of Armenians died,"
Zeman said during Armenian President Serge Sargisian's official visit
to Prague on January 30.

The Czech Republic, a member of the European Union and NATO, is not
among the 23 countries that formally recognize the mass killings
as genocide.

Zeman took office last year.

Czech Senator Jaromir Stetina welcomed the statement of the Czech
president about the Armenian Genocide. He has regularly advocated
for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide at the course of his

In a conversation with Armenpress, Stetina said that he intends to
introduce a declaration on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide to
foreign relations and defense committees of the Parliament of Czech
Republic on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide. "The declaration will be introduced in 2015 ahead of the
100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. I would like Czech Senate
to join the civilized parliaments which have recognized the Armenian
Genocide. Preparatory work activities towards the declaration will
launch in late 2014," Czech Senator stated. Jarom├*r ┼*te╠~Ltina
strongly hopes that the official visit of the President of Czech
Republic to Armenia by the invitation of the President of the Republic
of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan will greatly contribute to the adoption of
the declaration on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Czech Senator also assessed positively the meeting of the President
of the Republic of Armenia with the spiritual leader of the Czech
Republic, Archbishop of Prague Dominik Duka who supports the
recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Zeman hosted a state dinner in honor of Sargisian, during which
the latter offered a toast to the Czech Republic, the prospects of
closer ties, historical relations of the two peoples, the Armenian
community of the Czech Republic, which introduces a natural bridge
for the Armenian-Czech relations and several other subjects.

Among other things the both sides emphasized that the friendship of
the Armenian and Czech peoples is a firm basis for the development
and strengthening of interstate ties.

Sargisian expressed his gratitude and stressed that the Armenian
people remembers with acknowledgement the names of the worthy sons of
the Czech people, such as President of Czechoslovakia Tomas Masaryk
and his contemporary, Czech author and humanist Karel Hansa, whose
humanistic and socio-political activity spread light on the Armenian
Genocide, which was the first genocide of the 20th century.

EU powers and NATO members France and Germany are among those who
have recognized it as "genocide."

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From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress