Turkey FM lashes out at France over genocide bill

AFP , Thursday 29 Dec 2011

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu accuses France of building 'imperialist plans on other pains', as the French National Assembly passed a bill last week criminalising denial of the controversial Armenian genocide

Davutoglu
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu addresses a meeting of Turkish ambassadors in Ankara, Turkey, Friday, Dec. 23, 2011. (Photo:AP)

Turkey's foreign minister on Thursday hit back at French lawmakers who passed a bill last week criminalising denial of the disputed Armenian genocide.

French lawmakers voted last Thursday to jail and fine anyone in France who denies that the 1915 killings of Armenians under the Ottoman Empire amounted to genocide, prompting Turkey to suspend political and military cooperation with Paris.

"Do not build imperialist plans on others' pains," Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said at a news conference in northwestern province of Edirne, referring to the French parliament that passed the contentious bill.

France recognised the 1915 killings of Armenians as genocide in 2001.

Last week, the National Assembly approved a first step towards a law that would impose a jail term and a 45,000 euro ($60,000) fine on anyone in France who denies this.

The bill will now go to France's upper house, the Senate, and could become law next year.

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