Recognition of Armenian Genocide by Switzerland

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Swissinfo, Switzerland
March 29 2005

Calmy-Rey faces delicate mission in Turkey

Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey is travelling to Turkey on Tuesday, 18 months after a diplomatic spat put paid to a previous trip.

Ankara withdrew its invitation at the last minute after a cantonal parliament voted to recognise the 1915 slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Armenians as genocide.

Three months later - in December 2003 - a similar vote in the House of Representatives reached the same conclusion, drawing fresh condemnation from Turkey.

Françoise Saudan, a member of the parliamentary foreign affairs committee, who visited Turkey in August, cautioned that the Swiss foreign minister would need to tread gently.

She said the genocide remained a touchy subject for Turkey, which had not faced up to its past in the same way Switzerland addressed its Second World War past.

swissinfo with agencies

(only small excerpts of the original article were used to respect the copyright)