German FM denies distancing from Armenian Genocide resolution

Germany on Friday reiterated that a parliamentary resolution on Turkey’s World War I-era massacre of Armenians was non-binding but denied it was distancing itself from the vote to appease Ankara.

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said it had always been clear that the June vote calling the Ottoman-era mass killing a “genocide” had no legally binding character, a question he said was of great interest to Ankara.

According to AFP, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier also said Friday, when asked about the Spiegel report, that the German parliament “has the right and freedom to comment on political issues but, as the parliament says itself, not every resolution is legally binding”.

Steinmeier said there had been “many areas of friction, not just since the coup attempt”, and again urged Turkey to respect the rule of law in its treatment of the tens of thousands of detainees.

The minister also said that “of course it is the task of diplomats to reduce these areas of friction and to search for ways to maintain relations with Turkey and to provide a future perspective for them”.

“In recent talks we got the impression that this is an interest also shared by Turkey.”

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