Anadolu Agency, Turkey
Dec 27 2011

Swiss foreign minister says Armenian, Turkish historians should
investigate history

ANKARA (A.A) -December 26, 2011 -The president of the Swiss
Confederation and Switzerland's foreign minister said on Monday [26
December] that Armenian and Turkish historians should investigate the

Micheline Calmy-Rey said that historians in Armenia and Turkey should
deal with the allegations regarding the incidents of 1915.

The historians would then contribute to discussions with their
findings, Calmy-Rey said during Turkish ambassadors conference in

Calmy-Rey said there was not any law in Switzerland which acknowledged
a certain incident as genocide, like in France.

The foreign minister said Switzerland had mediated between Turkey and
Armenia between 2007 and October 2009 to enable the two countries to
establish diplomatic relations, open their borders and set up

Switzerland's official mediation role ended with protocols signed in
Zurich on October 10, 2009, Calmy-Rey said.

Calmy-Rey said Swiss penal code punished discourses and propaganda
including racism, and the Swiss government had many times condemned
the "tragic incidents of 1915."

The minister said the Swiss government had clearly expressed its
formal view about this issue in 2003, and there had been no change in
Switzerland's stance.

However, Armenian and Turkish historian should investigate the issue,
and contribute to discussions with their findings, Calmy-Rey also

The lower house of the French parliament adopted on Thursday a
resolution that criminalizes rejection of Armenian allegations
pertaining to the incidents of 1915. Only 70 out of 577
parliamentarians joined the voting of the resolution which was adopted
with majority of votes.

The resolution envisages "one-year prison term and 45,000 Euro fine
for those who deny genocide recognized by French laws." French
Parliament had recognized so-called Armenian genocide in 1915 on
January 29, 2001.

The draft criminalizing the rejection of Armenian allegations had
first been approved in 2006, but it could not become a law as French
President Nicolas Sarkozy prevented its presentation to Senate.

Now, the senate's approval is necessary to make the resolution a law.

Turkey strongly opposes the issue of the incidents of 1915 being used
as a tool in French politics. Many believe that French President
Sarkozy supports the Armenian resolution in order to garner support
from France's Armenian population that number around 500,000.

France will hold the first round of next year's presidential election
on April 22 and the second round run-off on May 6. Sarkozy is running
for a second term.

If the resolution is not adopted at the senate till February 22, 2012
when the parliament and senate will recess for presidential elections,
it will be invalid.

Moreover, Davutoglu thanked Switzerland for its active policy that had
a significant effect on Turkish-Armenian normalization talks, and said
Swiss parliament had rejected such a resolution on December 21.