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Armenia Expects Wider Genocide Recognition


Armenia - Pope Francis, President Serzh Sarkisian and Catholicos Garegin II lay flowers at the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan, 25Jun2016.

Armenia - Pope Francis, President Serzh Sarkisian and Catholicos Garegin II lay flowers at the Armenian genocide memorial in Yerevan, 25Jun2016.

(Reuters) - Armenia expects more countries to recognize the 1915 massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide after remarks by Pope Francis and the stance taken by Germany's parliament, President Serzh Sarkisian said.

Germany's lower house adopted a resolution this month declaring the killings of Christian Armenians by Ottoman forces in World War One a "genocide", a term used by many Western historians and parliaments, but rejected by Ankara.

During a visit to Armenia on Friday, the pope departed from his prepared text to use the term, angering Turks.

"The principled position of the pope and the views expressed by the Bundestag will pave the way for new recognitions by other nations," Sarkisian told Reuters in an interview.

"Germany is a very important and significant actor on the international stage and this [decision] will serve as a good example for other nations to follow and to learn from it," he said.

Sarkisian criticized Turkey's position over its aspiration to join the European Union, saying Ankara was trying to use a policy of dictatorship to bring pressure to bear on the bloc.

"I don't think that Turkey is ... an actor that can impose its views, or exercise pressure, on the European Union," he said. "I don't honestly see any prospects that would pave the way for Turkey joining the EU."

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