Deutsche Presse-Agentur
June 15, 2005, Wednesday
13:54:34 Central European Time

Visit by Turkish premier angers Armenians in Lebanon


A planned visit to Lebanon by Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan
later Wednesday has angered members of the country's large Armenian

Some 300 Armenians demonstrated in Burj Hammoud east of the capital
Beirut, torching the Turkish flag and denouncing the presence of
Erdogan due to arrive at 6:00 p.m. (1500 GMT) for an official two-
day visit.

The Armenians called on the Lebanese government to "remind their guest
of the 1915 massacres which were committed by Turkey against Armenians
and to call on his country to admit that the killings were genocide".

On April 12, Lebanon's well-integrated Armenian community commemorated
the anniversary of the massacre of their ancestors by the Ottoman
Turks between 1915-1917.

Lebanon hosts the Arab world's largest Armenian community, descendants
of survivors of the massacres who are now leading a global campaign
to declare the mass killings an act of genocide.

The massacres have so far been acknowledged as genocide by a number
of countries, including France, Canada and Switzerland.

During his visit, Erdogan is to hold talks with his Lebanese
counterpart Nagib Mikati focusing on improving bilateral ties.

On Thursday the Turkish premier will attend a large economic conference
grouping Arab ministers and economic figures, the first economic
conference to be held in the country after former Lebanese prime
minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated on February 14.

Erdogen is scheduled to visit Hariri's grave upon his arrival. dpa
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