Dutch House of Representatives

Dutch Parliament Urges Government to Recognize Armenian Genocide


THE HAGUE, Netherlands (FAON, Euronews, Turkish MFA) – The House of Representatives of the Netherlands adopted on February 25 a motion put forward by MP Joël Voordewind (ChristenUnie), calling on the Dutch government explicitly to recognize the Armenian Genocide, reports the Federation of Armenian Organisations in the Netherlands (FAON).

The motion was adopted almost unanimously.  This very broad support for the motion shows that for too long there has been great dissatisfaction in the parliament how the successive governments have dealt with the Armenian Genocide.

FAON, the 24 April Committee and all Armenians are thankful to Joël Voordewind and also to the many other MPs, who were committed to the recognition of the Armenian genocide for many years. Many of them showed their commitment by being present at 24 April commemorations, at Genocide monuments, concerts, such as the Armenian Genocide Centennial commemoration concert in the Grote Kerk in the Hague. FAON also thanks the members of the Recommending Committee of 24 April Committee for their support for years.

The motion’s message is that a clear language is needed to resolve precarious issues in the future. The FAON considers this idea especially important, given the current situation, in which Genocide Watch warned of a new genocide during the war in Nagorno Karabakh, and after the war both Turkey and Azerbaijan are aggressive towards Armenia.

The failure to identify and recognize historical events as genocide can be considered as the wrong signal.

The FAON assumes that the government will not disregard this very clear statement of the Parliament and will implement it.

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In earlier motions (2015, 2018), the Parliament explicitly recognized the Armenian Genocide, after the Dutch Parliament had already recognized it in 2004 in the motion by MP Rouvoet adopted unanimously, which appeals to the government “to expressly and continuously raise the recognition of the Armenian Genocide during the bilateral and EU dialogue with Turkey.”

With the new motion, the parliament announces that it can no longer agree with the government’s current approach.

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok had advised against the motion prior to the vote, arguing that the term genocide carried “an enormous connotation,” while caretaker prime minister Mark Rutte previously has stated that the motion would not contribute to reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey.

Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hami Aksoy, following his government’s ongoing policy of denial, declared, “The resolution adopted today (25 February) by the House of Representatives of the Netherlands which calls upon the Government to recognize the 1915 events as genocide, is a null and void attempt to rewrite history with political motives.” After reiterating a Turkish government proposal to form a joint history commission to study these events, he pivoted to suggest the Dutch House of Representatives should focus on racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia directed against Turks in the Netherlands.

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