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ANKARA: Spanish Lawmakers Dismiss 'Armenian Genocide' Resolution

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  • ANKARA: Spanish Lawmakers Dismiss 'Armenian Genocide' Resolution


    Today's Zaman
    May 24 2012

    Spanish lawmakers have voted against a resolution describing the
    killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of
    the last century as "genocide," a news report said on Thursday.

    Lawmakers at the Foreign Affairs Committee rejected the proposed
    resolution by a resounding 3-36 vote, the Anatolia news agency
    reported. The measure was proposed by two deputies from Amaiur,
    a left-wing Basque nationalist coalition, and was only supported by
    members from the United Left (IU) coalition and the Basque Nationalist
    Party (PNV). Members representing all the other parties at the
    committee, including the ruling People's Party (PP) and the main
    opposition Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE), opposed the resolution.

    A spokesman for the PP said the ruling party was opposed to the
    measure because it was against "a revision of history" by parliament.

    Jose Maria Beneyto said his party encourages reconciliation efforts

    Meritxell Batet, a PSOE lawmaker, agreed, saying such resolutions harm
    Turkish-Armenian ties. "The best way is to encourage reconciliation,"
    she was quoted as saying by Anatolia.

    Other lawmakers criticized the Amaiur deputies who proposed the
    resolution, saying they should be mourning those who have been killed
    in terror attacks in the Basque region instead of shedding "crocodile
    tears" for the Armenians.

    Spanish views on history appear to be split along the political
    divisions in the country. The governments of Spain's autonomous
    regions in the Basque Country, the Balearic Islands and Catalonia
    have adopted resolutions describing the 1915 events as genocide,
    while the Spanish parliament is reluctant to approve such steps. A
    similar measure, tabled by the Republican Left of Catalonia was voted
    down in the Spanish parliament in 2010.

    Turkey rejects Armenian claims of genocide, saying there were deaths
    on both sides as the Ottoman Empire was trying to quell a revolt by
    Armenian gangs who took up arms against the central government for
    independence in collaboration with the Russian army that was then
    invading eastern Anatolia.

    But parliaments in a number of countries have already passed
    resolutions supporting the Armenian claims of genocide. Earlier
    this year, France, whose parliament had already adopted the Armenian
    version of history, attempted to take it a step further and criminalize
    denial of the alleged genocide. A bill to that effect was passed in
    both houses of the French parliament but was annulled in February by
    the country's Constitutional Council, which said it ran counter to
    the constitutional principle of freedom of expression.