Dutch Parliament votes to recognize Armenian genocide

Dutch-MP

Lawmakers in the lower house of the Dutch parliament overwhelmingly voted Thursday to recognize the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks more than a century ago.

In Dec. 2004, the Dutch Parliament unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the Netherlands government to consistently bring up the Armenian Genocide in future negotiations dealing with Turkey's accession to the European Union.

Kaag said that she continues to talk about "the issue of the Armenian genocide".

It also agreed to send a cabinet representative to Yerevan in April for the commemoration of the killings and every five years afterwards. The Dutch government, however, said the recognition would not become official policy of the Netherlands.

Turkey has long denied Armenia's claim that it committed genocide during that time when up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed, arguing the deaths were a result of war, not ethnic cleansing.

Some three dozen countries, hundreds of local government bodies and global organizations have so far recognized the killings of 1.5 million Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as Genocide.

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More than 20 nations, including France and Russian Federation, as well as Pope Francis, have recognised the 1915 killings as genocide.

"Baseless decisions taken by the parliament of a country that turned a blind eye to the still painful genocide at Srebrenica have no place in history or in justice", the Foreign Ministry's statement said.

Turkey objects to the presentation of the incidents as "genocide" but describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

The two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies fell out a year ago over the Netherlands' decision to block the entry of Turkish officials who wanted to hold rallies ahead of a referendum in Turkey on expanding the president's powers. The decision triggered the start of a crisis in relations, including Turkey blocking German parliament members from visiting troops station at a Turkish airbase.

Turkey refers to the Armenian massacre as the "Events of 1915". Thousands of Armenians, especially women, are believed to have been taken as slaves or brides and forced to convert to Islam.

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