YEREVAN (Combined Sources) — During his first visit to this nation, French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged Turkey to recognize the 1915 Armenians Genocide by the Ottoman Turk government, thus thrilling Armenians worldwide and riling the Turkish government.
“The Armenian Genocide is a historical reality. Collective denial is even worse than individual denial,” Sarkozy said Thursday, October 6 in Yerevan.
“Turkey, which is a great country, would honor itself by revisiting its history like other countries in the world have done,” Sarkozy added.
Sarkozy also hinted that Turkey’s refusal to recognize the Genocide would force France to change its law and make such denials a criminal offense. “If Turkey does not do this, then doubtless we will have to go further,” he said without elaborating. Sarkozy urged Armenia to continue efforts towards normalizing relations with Turkey and finding a durable peace with its other neighbor, Azerbaijan.
On the second day of his visit to Yerevan as part of a broader South Caucasus tour that also included stops in Baku and Tbilisi, Sarkozy urged the parties to the protracted Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Nagorno-Karabagh to resolve their differences by peaceful means.
“I have told the president of Armenia to continue his way towards peace with Azerbaijan, which meets the interests of both countries,” Sarkozy said at a joint press conference with his Armenian counterpart.