Armenian congress meets to discuss mass killings of Armenians

Armenian congress meets to discuss mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman
AP Online
May 06, 2004

The Worldwide Armenian Congress began meeting here on Thursday to
discuss its efforts to receive international recognition of the mass
killings of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide.

Ara Abramian, head of the Worldwide Armenian Congress, said their goal
would be a full and final acknowledgment from the international

“This envisions also an acknowledgment of genocide from Turkey and the
resolution of all related issues based on international law,” he said.

Armenia accuses Turkey of the genocide of up to 1.5 million Armenians
between 1915 and 1919, when Armenia was under the Ottoman
Empire. Turkey rejects the claim and says Armenians were killed in
civil unrest during the collapse of the empire.

Armenia has pushed for the United States and other nations to declare
the killings a genocide based on well-documented historical
evidence. Many countries, including Russia and France, have officially
recognized the event as genocide, along with some U.S. states.

The conference organizers, which also include the Armenian Institute
of International Law and Politics in Moscow, also planned to discuss
ways to unify the Armenian position on the issue, particularly in
regard to questions of territorial or material compensation.

A unified position “is very important for Turkey and for our
supporters and opponents so that everyone can understand what would be
the consequences and the limits of Armenian demands,” said Andranik
Migranian, a well-known political expert, who acknowledged divergent
views among political parties in Armenia, the Armenian government and
the large Armenian Diaspora.

The meeting, behind held in the Armenian capital, Yerevan, also
planned to discuss issues related to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and
Turkey’s support of Azerbaijan, as well as prospects for improving
Turkey-Armenian relations.