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GENEVA, (AFP) - The regional government of Geneva on Monday formally recognized Armenian claims that hundreds of thousands of Armenians were killed in orchestrated massacres in 1915.

A resolution to this effect, adopted unanimously by the Geneva canton's lower house, was bound to anger Turkey.

Geneva's regional government said that Turks and Armenians should work to establish lasting peace between their two countries.

"Everyone must recognize the existence of a genocide because such a crime which cannot be subject to the statute of limitations is a challenge to all of mankind," Geneva's regional government said in a formal declaration Monday. "To deny its existence is an insult to the memory of the victims, diminishes the horror and falsifies history."

The government of the canton of Geneva noted that just as Germany had acknowledged its responsibility toward the Jews after the Holocaust, "Turkey can acknowledge its past crimes in order to establish peaceful relations with the Armenian people, based on historic truth."

It added that by recognizing the Armenian genocide, Geneva was following a policy set out by other countries, the United Nations and the European Parliament.
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