ANKARA (PanArmenian/Turkish Daily News)–French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin and Turkey’s Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul met on Tuesday to discuss bilateral relations and relations within the European Union.
Speaking at a joint news conference after the meeting–Gul responded to questions about Armenian Genocide–emphasizing that "accusations" about the genocide should be assessed by historians. "There are circles willing to cast a shadow on Turkish-French cooperation" he said–and called to rule out "phenomena–which can hamper the development of bilateral relations."
Gul explained the sensitivity of the Turkish public about the issue of genocide–and noted that this issue should not cast shadow over French-Turkish bilateral relations.
Commenting on the decision to erect a monument to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in the center of Paris–the French Foreign Minister de Villepin said the government of France could not influence decisions of city authorities.
French president Chirac–as well as the French National Assembly and Senate have officially recognized the 1915 Genocide of Armenia’s by Ottoman Turkey.
Gul conveyed that Turkey wanted to see French President Jacques Chirac and French Prime Minister Jean Pierre Raffarin "in Turkey as soon as possible." European Parliament Report Takes Firm Approach Toward Turkey.