Sarkozy: Turkey Cannot Teach France Any `Lessons’

Sarkozy: Turkey Cannot Teach France Any `Lessons’

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Armenia Thanks France for Genocide Bill

PARIS – France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy dismissed on Friday
Turkey’s furious reaction to the passage of a French bill
criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide, saying that Ankara
cannot teach his country any `lessons.’
`I respect the views of our Turkish friends – it’s a great country, a
great civilization – and they must respect ours,’ the AFP news agency
quoted Sarkozy as saying in Prague where he attended the funeral of
late Czech President Vaclav Havel.
`France is not giving lessons to anyone but does not want them either,’ he said.
`Under all circumstances, we must remain calm … France does not ask
for permission, France has its convictions, human rights, and respect
for memory,’ added Sarkozy.
In remarks aired by French television, Sarkozy also cited that in 2001
the French parliament had recognized the Armenian Genocide.
`Ten years ago France adopted a law recognizing the Armenian genocide,
the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians,’ he said. `Now the question for
the parliament was to know whether the recognition of this genocide
should mean that those disputing it can be held accountable.
`This is what was decided by the National Assembly. You see, France
has principles.’
Earlier on Friday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused
France of committing genocide in its former colony Algeria and
launched a personal attack on Sarkozy. `In Algeria from 1945, an
estimated 15 percent of the population was massacred by the French.
This is a genocide,’ Erdogan said on live television, according to
Reuters.
`If the French President Mr. Sarkozy doesn’t know about this genocide
he should go and ask his father, Paul Sarkozy. His father served in
the French Legion in Algeria in the 1940s. I am sure he would have
lots to tell his son about the French massacres in Algeria,’ the
Turkish premier said.
AFP reported that France’s Foreign Minister Alain Juppe called on
Turkey not to `overreact’ to a bill that he insisted was a
parliamentary initiative, and not a project of Sarkozy’s government.
`We have been accused of genocide! How could we not overreact?’ the
Turkish ambassador to France, Tahsin Burcuoglu, said before taking a
flight home. `Turkey will never recognize this story of an Armenian
genocide.’

Armenia Thanks France
Armenia on Friday again thanked France for the Genocide bill adopted
by the parliament. In a letter to his French counterpart Nicolas
Sarkozy, President Serzh Sarkisian said the French National Assembly
demonstrated France’s devotion to `universal human values’ when it
approved a corresponding bill on Thursday.
According to the presidential press office, Sarkisian said the vote
also testifies to Sarkozy’s personal commitment to strengthening
`Armenian-French friendship,’ eliminating `division lines’ and
`reconciling peoples’ in the region.
Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian also thanked France in a
statement issued immediately after the National Assembly in Paris
voted to pass the bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian and
other genocides.

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