Recognition of Armenian Genocide by Belgium

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BELGIAN SENATE


1997-1998 Session


Resolution 1-736/3 Concerning the 1915 Genocide of Armenians living in Turkey


Whereas there are numerous studies dedicated to the situation of the Armenian population in Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century;

Whereas the UN convention on the prevention and punishment of genocide, provides a definition of the concept of genocide; Whereas the judicial verdicts have applied this term to describe the state of Armenians living in Turkey in 1915, more specifically, the verdict of the 'tribunal de grande instance' in Paris on 21 June 1995;

Whereas the resolution by the European Parliament on 18 June 1987 concerning a "political solution to the Armenian Question," recognized that the Armenians living in Turkey in 1915 were the victims of a genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman government of the time;

Whereas there cannot be the slightest doubt over the historical evidence regarding the organized and systematic murder of the Armenians;

Whereas the recognition of mistakes and crimes of the past is a precondition for reconciliation between peoples and that there cannot be peace without justice, either in Armenia or elsewhere;

Whereas only through the recognition of crimes committed by previous regimes is it possible to distance oneself from their aims and strive politically for reconciliation;

Whereas the differences between the Turkish and Armenian nations continue to drag on and even today lead to the loss of human lives, to the eviction of ethnic groups and to numerous violations of human rights in that region;

Whereas the Turkish and Armenian peoples have no choice but to co-exist peacefully in the long term;

Whereas there exist friendly ties and cooperation between, on the one hand, Turkey, Belgium, and the European Union and, on the other hand, Armenia, Belgium and the European Union;

Whereas the 1987 resolution by the European Parliament has not led the Turkish government to recognize the historic reality of the 1915 genocide;

Be it resolved that the Senate request the Turkish government to recognize the historical reality of the genocide committed in 1915 by the last government of the Ottoman Empire;

Be it further resolved that the Senate request the parliaments of the member-states of the European Union to contribute to the reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples;

Be it further resolved that the Senate request the European Union and its member-states to lend their support to initiatives in all domains aimed at promoting a dialogue between the Armenian and Turkish peoples;

Be it further resolved that the Senate ask the government of Belgium to transmit this resolution to the prime minister of the Turkish government, to the chairman of the European parliament, to the chairman of the European Commission, to the chairmen of the parliaments of the member-states of the European Union, as well as to the chairman of the parliament of the Republic of Armenia.




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