Armenian nationalists condemn British envoy’s genocide remarks
Noyan Tapan news agency
16 Mar 04
The faction of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun
[ARFD] in the National Assembly has accused the British ambassador to
Armenia, Thorda Abbott-Watt, of violating the norms of diplomatic
etiquette. Speaking at a session of the National Assembly on 16 March,
the leader of the faction, Levon Lazarian, stated that according to
these norms, a diplomat has to respect the history and principles of
the people and the country in which he works. Mrs Abbott-Watt noted at
a press conference back in January that she did not think that the
recognition of the 1915 events as genocide “will be useful”.
“How can one explain the fact that she dares to make such remarks at a
time when one of the priorities of Armenia’s foreign policy is the
recognition of the Armenian genocide,” the MP noted.
Levon Lazarian recalled that in response to a query from the
editor-in-chief of the US newspaper California Courier, Harut
Sassounian, the ambassador answered that “the British government had
condemned the massacres, but the evidence was not sufficiently
unequivocal that what took place could be categorized as
genocide”. The head of the faction advised the ambassador to read a
letter from the British queen to Sultan Abdul Hamid to see for herself
that “the evidence was sufficiently unequivocal that what took place
could be categorized as genocide”.
“On what system of values does the ambassador of a country playing a
key role in European politics rely, considering the recognition of the
extermination of 1.5m people and the deportation of a whole nation
from its motherland to be not very useful? What moral principles does
the ambassador see in her remark about usefulness on the threshold of
the 21st century? And most importantly, how does she see her future
activities in the Republic of Armenia?” Levon Lazarian said.
He said that these questions will be also be addressed to the Armenian
Foreign Ministry, demanding that a special note be sent in connection
with the remarks and behaviour of Thorda Abbott-Watt.