(AW/Asbarez)—Syria’s parliament has recognized the Armenian Genocide. On Thursday, lawmakers voted to adopt the resolution, formalizing the government’s earlier commemoration of the victims who perished in the 1915 tragedy under the Ottoman Empire. The resolution was introduced by the Syria-Armenia Parliamentary Friendship Commission.
Turkey has since condemned Thursday’s vote. A statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs read in part, “Purporting these baseless claims by a cruel regime which has lost its international legitimacy is a clear indicator of the twisted mindset that lays behind it.”
In Yerevan, Syrian Ambassador to Armenia Haj Ibrahim countered, “Today’s terrorist organizations, who are committing horrifying acts against the Syrian people, are the grandchildren of those who committed genocide against the Armenians and others in the past,” noting that Lebanon has been the only Middle Eastern country to recognize the Armenian Genocide (1997). “When during the Armenian Genocide the Armenians reached Syria, they became an integral part of the Syrian society. They safely resumed their life in Syria – preserving their identity, religion, studying in Armenian schools. There are numerous churches which are eternalizing the memory of the victims of the Armenian Genocide, most importantly the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church in Deir ez-Zor, the Forty Martyrs’ Church in Aleppo, as well as the Holy Martyrs of Armenian Genocide square in Damascus,” added Ibrahim.
In a statement that also expressed solidarity for the Syrian people amid escalating tensions with Turkey in the northwestern province of Idlib, Armenia’s Foreign Ministry said, “This Resolution is a vivid illustration of century-old friendship and mutual affinity between the Armenian and Syrian peoples. This is a solid contribution to restoration of historical justice and prevention of genocides.”
The Syrian Parliament’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide follows recent threats of military violence and all out war by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Ankara has given Russian-backed Syrian government forces until the end of the month to retreat from the northwestern province of Idlib, where the United Nations estimates that 800,000 civilians have been forcibly displaced and are facing freezing temperatures on their treacherous journeys to safety.