US, FRANCE IN MEDS YEGHERN REMEMBRANCE
April 25 2012
U.S. President Barack Obama avoided using the term “genocide” yesterday
in his annual message marking the events of 1915, dubbing the mass
killings a “great disaster” (Meds Yeghern), while French President
Nicolas Sarkozy was set to attend commemorations in Paris.
April 24, the day Armenians mark the beginning of the mass killings
of their kin during the Ottoman Empire, was marked around the world,
Thousands of Armenians staged a procession to a hilltop memorial in
Yerevan yesterday to mark the anniversary.
“Today we, just as many, many others all over the world, bow to the
memory of the innocent victims of the Armenian genocide,” Armenian
President Serzh Sargsyan, who led top officials laying wreaths at
the monument, said in a statement.
Sarkozy’s challenger for the French presidency, Francois Hollande,
was also expected to participate in ceremonies in Paris.
But Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu played down the memorial
day, saying, “There is no difference between April 23 and April 24.”
“Giving such importance to this day is not right,” Davutoglu said.
“Enjoy April 25.”
Commemoration in Istanbul Turkish activists staged a series of
commemoration events in Istanbul to mark the day and sent a letter to
prominent Armenian religious authorities to express their sentiments.
“We are penning this letter to your Catholicos office, which represents
the spiritual leadership of all the world’s Armenians, to express
our shame and respect before the memory of Ottoman-Armenians who were
massacred in the process of the genocide, whose properties and wealth
were seized and even whose past traces [authorities] have expended
considerable efforts in wiping out,” they said.
The activists sent the letter to Etchmiadzin, the religious center of
all Armenians in Armenia, and the Catholicos of Cilicia in Lebanon,
which was exiled from Anatolia.
“We are penning this letter to you to express our belief that the
denial of a genocide, which represents a crime against humanity,
amounts to a human rights violation that paves the way for other
violations and which fosters enmity and hatred,” the letter said.
The Committee Against Racism and Discrimination of the Human Rights
Association (Ä°HD) staged yesterday’s first rally before the Turkish
and Islamic Artifacts Museum in Sultanahmet Square. The museum was
once used as a prison where around 250 Armenian intellectuals were
briefly held in 1915 before being deported.
US Americans accuse Obama of betrayal for 1915 Umit Enginsoy – ANKARA
Azerbaijan’s Foreign Ministry has said Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor
Lieberman’s visit to Baku is focused only on “bilateral relations
and is not directed against” Iran or any other country, Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty reported on its website. Lieberman’s visit on
April 23-24 came amid reports that Israel and Azerbaijan have been
strengthening their ties ahead of a possible Israeli military action
against Azerbaijan’s neighbor Iran. Lieberman also denied on April
23 that Israel had gained access to air bases in Azerbaijan.
“Such reports are from the sphere of science fiction and do not
correspond with the truth,” Lieberman told reporters in the Azeri