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Canada Recognizes Armenian Genocide

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God bless Quebec, Bloc Quebecois introduced this motion!!!!!!


MPs recognize Armenian massacre as genocide

Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Canada became one of the few countries to formally recognize the genocide of Armenian Turks during the First World War in a strongly worded motion adopted 153-68 in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Government members were discouraged from voting for the opposition motion, which is sure to anger a Turkish government that has never recognized the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians starting in 1915.

Following a charged debate at their weekly closed-door caucus meeting, Liberal backbenchers voted massively in favour of the Bloc Quebecois motion while the party's cabinet contingent rejected it.

Prime Minister Paul Martin was absent during the politically sensitive vote but Foreign Affairs Minister Bill Graham defended the government's opposition to the motion.

The Turkish government has warned that recognizing the genocide could have economic consequences and Graham said he wanted to maintain good relations with Turkey.

"Turkey is an important NATO ally in a region where it is a Muslim country with a moderate government," he said.

"What we seek to do in our foreign policy is to encourage the forward dimension, we're forward-looking. We'd like our Armenian friends and our Turkish friends to work together to put these issues in the past."

The Turkish government rejects the charge of genocide as unfounded and says that while 600,000 Armenians died, 2.5 million Muslims perished in a period of civil unrest.

The motion read: "That this House acknowledges the Armenian genocide of 1915 and condemns this act as a crime against humanity."

Liberal Hedy Fry supported the motion but said it's important to note the atrocities were carried out under the Ottoman empire, which has faded into history and was long ago replaced by a modern Turkish state.

"I think we need to recognize the past," she said.

"I think it doesn't mean we've broken ties with the current regime in Turkey. They are our colleagues, they are our NATO allies. They are a moderate, Muslim government and I think we need to work with them.

Recognizing what happened in the Ottoman empire shouldn't affect Canada's diplomatic relations with Turkey, she said.

Edited by Phrygian
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21 Apr 2004 22:56:29 GMT

Canadian Parliament recognizes Armenian genocide


(Releads with Parliament backing resolution)

By David Ljunggren

OTTAWA, April 21 (Reuters) - The Canadian Parliament on Wednesday ignored long-standing government policy and angered Turkey by formally declaring that Ottoman Turks committed genocide against Armenians in 1915.

Legislators in the House of Commons voted 153-68 to support a motion declaring the events of 90 years ago as genocide, despite a plea from Foreign Minister Bill Graham not to aggravate NATO ally Turkey.

Armenians say some 1.5 million of their people were deliberately slaughtered by Ottoman Turks between 1915 and 1923. Turkey denies the charges of genocide, saying the Armenians were among the many victims of a partisan war raging during World War One as the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

Government sources stressed there would be no change in Ottawa's official policy, which is that while the events of 1915 were a tragedy they did not constitute genocide.

But Wednesday's result was a sound defeat for the government, which had instructed cabinet members to vote "no".

Graham had also sent a letter to every Liberal legislator saying he was "deeply concerned that it (the motion) could have far-reaching negative consequences" for Turkey and the region.

"Given Turkey's extremely important position in the area in a geopolitical context which is very complicated ... my view is that Canada is best to allow historians to deal with these issues," Graham told reporters before the vote.

"We must recognize we must have good relations with our NATO colleague in Turkey... (which) is a very important NATO ally that we work with closely in many areas, including Afghanistan," he said.

Despite his efforts, no less than 75 Liberal legislators voted for the resolution. In recent years parliaments in more than a dozen countries -- including France, Russia and Switzerland -- have adopted similar motions.

Ankara has fought hard to block attempts to press for international recognition of the events as a genocide. The Turkish embassy in Ottawa warned of negative consequences if the resolution was approved.

"Certainly, relations with Canada will suffer as the result of adopting such a motion," embassy counselor Fazli Corman told Reuters, citing the example of Canadian firms seeking to sign contracts in Turkey.

Liberal legislator Sarkis Assadourian, one of the backers of the motion, dismissed what he said were warnings from the Canadian foreign ministry about the possible negative impact.

"Justice delayed is justice denied. How long do people have to wait for the injustices of the past to be redressed?" said Assadourian, who says his parents survived the events of 1915.

"Why do we have to be selective in our memories? If you're going to do it for one (genocide), why not do it for the others?" he told Reuters before the vote.

France's parliament backed the Armenian case in 2001, prompting Turkey to freeze official visits to France and temporarily block French companies from entering lucrative defense contracts.

The U.S. Congress dropped a similar resolution in 2000 after the White House warned it would harm U.S. security interests in the Middle East.

(Additional reporting by Randall Palmer in Ottawa)

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Парламент Канады признал факт геноцида армянского народа в 1915г.

РБК. 22.04.2004, Торонто 07:51:34. Канадские парламентарии приняли постановление, в котором квалифицировали массовое убийство армян в Оттоманской империи во время Первой мировой войны как геноцид. Как сообщает АР, в поддержку этого документа высказались 153 парламентария, против - 68. На данный момент помимо Канады факт геноцида армянского народа признали Россия, Швейцария, Франция, Аргентина и 27 штатов США.

Edited by Sevak
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