MARSEILLES, France—President Serzh Sarkisian urged Turkey to face its own past and “repent” for the Armenian Genocide, saying that it is inevitable for Turkey to eventually recognize the Genocide.
Sarkisian was speaking at an official reception organized by Marseille’s Mayor Jean-Claude Gaudin and attended by members of the Armenian community. He was visiting Marseilles to take part in a meeting of the European People’s Party and to inaugurate a new Armenian consulate in that city, where there is a large Armenian population.
“We are confident that Turkey will repent. This is neither a precondition nor a effort to exact revenge. Turkey must face its own history,” said Sarkisian.
The president said that Armenia’s position has not changed and that Yerevan is ready to have friendly relations with its neighbors. He cited the example of post-World War II Germany and Poland, when German Chancellor Willie Brandt visited the Warsaw Ghetto fully cognizant of the crime his country had perpetrated against Poland.
“Sooner or later Turkey, which considers itself a European country, will have a truly European leadership that will bow its head at Dzidzernagapert, The sooner the better, but that is up to the Turkish people,” said Sarkisian.
“One day Turkey’s leadership will find the strength to reassess its approaches to the Armenian Genocide,” added Sarkisian.
He also called a recent visit by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Armenia “historic.” He added that Sarkozy’s statements in Yerevan, urging Turkey to come to term with its past was unprecedented, adding that no other world leader has never made such statement.