Armenia to German lawmakers: Don’t bow to Erdogan in Genocide vote

The bill on Armenian Genocide to be voted on in the German Bundestag on Thursday is very important to us, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan said n an interview with Bild. He added that the measure is important not only for our country, but also for prevention of such crimes anywhere in the world.

“No German politician, even the ones who oppose the bill, denies that the events that happened 101 years ago were genocide, the first genocide of the 20th century. I think that the values German politicians share should be more important than the short-term political interests. Many other countries, including France, have recognized the Armenian Genocide,” President Sargsyan said.

Speaking about the Germany responsibility, the President said: “There are numerous documents in German archives, reports by German diplomats and missionaries that prove the extermination of the Armenian people. The German Empire was historically an alley of the Ottoman Empire, and  might have to do something to prevent the crime. But it did nothing.”

President Sargsyan said he can’t understand the fear of German politicians of Erdogan’s sharp reaction. “Germany is a powerful state and the voice of the German Bundestag is heard all over the world. That’s why Germany has a special moral responsibility in defending the values without making any compromises. When you make a compromise out of a short-term political interests, you do it again and again. And that is bad for Germany, bad for Europe and the world,” he said.

The Armenian President said the possible failure of the Turkey-EU migrant deal has nothing to do with the adoption of the Armenian Genocide resolution. “It won’t be fair if you refuse calling the killing of the Armenian people “genocide” just because it will anger the head of state of another country. I am sure that the politicians in the Bundestag think the same way and will not be intimidated.”

Can Europe ever trust Erdogan in any form? “I cannot speak for Europe, but I can tell you from my own experience: No, we do not trust Erdogan! It is not only because of his refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide. We have tried for years to establish diplomatic relations. There were for example, the Zurich protocols that had to be ratified by the Turkish Parliament. But Erdogan has blocked everything. I wonder: Why did we ever negotiate?” President Sargsyan said.

Europe should not blindly trust Erdogan, but find its own solutions for the refugee problem, he added.

Referring to the Karbakh conflict, President Sargsyan said: “At the moment the situation is calm, there is no shooting. However, when Azerbaijan unleashed a military aggression, there was lack of international solidarity. We would like to make it clear what happened there: an attack by Azerbaijan.”

Asked what he expects from the international community, President Sargsyan said: “Armenia is a small country. We realize that we are economically perhaps less interesting. We want the wrong to be called wrong.  First of all. Europe should have criticized the actions of Azerbaijan. If that is not enough, sanctions would be conceivable as a next step.”

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