STRASBOURG (A.W.)—The European Parliament (EP) on March 12 called on European Union (EU) member states to recognize the Armenian Genocide ahead of the 100th anniversary of the crime.
The EP adopted the Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World 2013 and the EU policy on the matter on Thurs., March 12. Article 77 of the adopted report “calls, ahead of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, on all the member states to legally acknowledge it, and encourages the member states and the EU institutions to contribute further to its recognition.”
Article 129 of the report mentions the plight of Apostolic Armenians and other Christian minorities in the Middle East. It further “calls for the EU and its member states to ensure that religious minorities are respected worldwide, particularly in the Middle East, where Christians, including Catholics, Apostolic Armenians, Copts, and Yezidis, and Muslim minorities are being persecuted by ISIS and other terrorist groups.”
The European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) welcomed the report. “We were expecting this report since a few years now, when the post of the European Union Special Representative for Human Rights was created, to advance European Union values during negotiations, be it on foreign policy, trade, energy, or any other cooperation with third countries,” the EAFJD said in a statement.
“We unequivocally welcome and support this resolution, especially in this centenary year of the Armenian Genocide, specifically Paragraph 77… We expect the EU to put pressure on Turkey, as well, to officially recognize the Armenian Genocide that it has committed,” read the EAFJD statement.
The EAFJD also stressed the importance of the resolution, which protects all vulnerable groups, minorities, and peoples “in these times of racism, xenophobia, and the turmoil in the Middle East, the European Neighborhood, and the world as a whole.”
The adoption of the report was welcomed by the European Friends of Armenia (EuFoA). In a statement released immediately after its adoption, EuFoA Director Eduardo Lorenzo Ochoa said, “After a long break, the European Parliament reasserts its position on the Armenian Genocide, and again reaffirms that genocides and their denials are a human rights matter. During this special year, we are thankful for this strong signal of European solidarity with the Armenian people.”