PARIS—The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee of France on Saturday issued a statement calling on President Nicolas Sarkozy to condemn his foreign minister’s proposal to establish a commission that would study the Armenian Genocide, Nouvelles Armenie reported.
Speaking during a press conference last week in Turkey, French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called the period of the Armenian Genocide hard for both Armenians and Turks and expressed France’s willingness for the establishment of a commission to study the Armenian Genocide.
While visiting Armenia last month, Sarkozy, in no uncertain terms called on Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide. He added that if Turkey did not come to terms with its past, other countries would have to step in to right the historical wrong.
Below is the English translation of the ARF statement:
The ARF learned of the intention expressed by Alain Juppe to set up a commission of Armenian and Turkish historians in France to study the period in the history regarding the Armenian Genocide.
ARF is furious at the Foreign Minister for his remarks, which potentially cast doubt on the veracity of the Armenian Genocide. Such statements are not acceptable. They contain hints of policy of denial. Statements by Alain Juppe significantly minimize the words of [President] Nicolas Sarkozy, who called on Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
The French government can not simultaneously call on Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide and proposer a commission of historians which must decide on the reality of the Armenian Genocide.
This is an intolerable contradiction by the French authorities, who apparently decided to play a game of double standards of truth and denial. This impression is further reinforced by the fact that when Nicolas Sarkozy was in Armenia, [France’s Interior Minister] Claude Gueant was hastily dispatched to Turkey.
We can not bear this duplicity and ask Sarkozy to express open disapproval of the position of Alain Juppe, contrary to President’s statements made in Yerevan. The Armenian community is angered and looks forward to decisive action by the President of the Republic. Inclusion of the bill criminalizing denial of Armenian Genocide in the Senate’s agenda is urgent. Nicolas Sarkozy promised to do so in Yerevan, let him keep his promise.