Armenia will step up efforts to achieve greater international recognition of the 1915 Armenian massacres in Ottoman Turkey as genocide as it prepares to mark their 100th anniversary, President Serzh Sarkisian said on Thursday.
“In advance of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide we will redouble our efforts at its international recognition and condemnation,” he told an election campaign rally held in Yerevan’s southern Shengavit district.
Sarkisian cautioned at the same time that Armenia has a “long way” to go in achieving that goal. “The passage by France of a law criminalizing genocide denial pleased many of us, while the French Constitutional Court’s ruling [declaring the law unconstitutional] disappointed some of us,” he said. “I am calling on all of you to be serene and patient because defending the rights of the Armenians in the international arena is a very difficult process.”
Sarkisian was accused by critics at home and especially the Armenian Diaspora of undermining genocide recognition when he embarked on a Western-backed rapprochement with Turkey in 2008. He has repeatedly denied those claims, saying that time has proved them wrong.
In a speech at a Republican Party congress last month, the president declared that the failed Turkish-Armenian normalization process has actually “solidified the process of the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.” He also said that Turkey’s refusal to ratify the Turkish-Armenian normalization agreements signed in 2009 has demonstrated to the world community that Armenia is the more constructive party to the dialogue.