IN SOFIA, FM GUL DISCUSSES ARMENIAN GENOCIDE MATTER WITH FRENCH FM 27-28 APRIL

Yerevan, May 2. ArmInfo. At an unofficial meeting of NATO ministers
last week in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, Turkish Foreign Minister
Abdullah Gul touched on the Armenian genocide matter in comments
to French Foreign Minister Philippe Douste-Blazy, reports Hurriyet
on-line.

Referring to the drafts of 5 different bills in the French Parliament
which propose jail sentences for people denying the Armenian genocide,
Gul said to Blazy: "You are planning on giving prison sentences to
those who deny the Armenian genocide. But let's say that either I or
the President of Turkey make an official visit to France, and that at
a press conference there, upon questioning from reporters, we say 'The
accusations of genocide are lies. They have no ties to reality.' What
would you do, throw us in prison? Would this suit France, a country
which is one of the champions of freedom of expression and thought
in Europe? So you are essentially giving one side the right to do
whatever they want, while you deny the other side the right to express
its feelings about lies that are being told about it. This perspective
runs contrary to European values."

It should be noted that Hurriyet says nothing about the French FM's
answer to Gul's rhetorical question.