The Dutch cabinet will be present in Yerevan in April at the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. It is the first time that a government official attends the ceremony. Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs said in the Lower House that the presence does not mean that the government makes a statement about whether there was genocide, NOS reported.
According to her, it is about showing respect in a dignified manner “for the terrible events of 1915.”
With the commitment, the government is responding to a call by a large majority in the House, led by ChristenUnie Member of Parliament Joel Voordewind. In 2004 the Parliament spoke about the Armenian Genocide, but then in a more indirect way.
Kaag said that she continues to talk about “the issue of the Armenian genocide”. She stressed that there is no binding resolution of the UN Security Council in which the Armenian genocide is mentioned, nor is it a decision by an international court.
According to her, the Cabinet wants to be cautious about applying the concept of genocide to the past. “It remains very clear to the government that a large-scale massacre has taken place.”