Brazil’s upper house of parliament, the Federal Senate, has joined 23 countries around the world in officially recognizing the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire.
The Brazilian Senate described the slaughter of some 1.5 million Armenians as genocide in a “motion of solidarity with the Armenian people” that was approved by 55 of its 81 members on Tuesday.
The resolution pays tribute to the victims and praises descendants of the genocide survivors who had taken refuge in Brazil for their “economic, social and cultural” contributions to Latin America’s largest nation. Brazil is now home to more than 40,000 ethnic Armenians.
The resolution was drafted by two senators representing the main opposition Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB). One of them, Aloysio Nunes Ferreira, reportedly urged Turkey to stop denying that the World War One-era mass killings and deportations of Armenians constituted genocide.
Armenia welcomed the resolution even before it was formally passed by the Brazilian senators. Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian issued a special statement to that effect on Friday.
“I can reaffirm that Armenia welcomes the decision made by the Brazilian Senate,” Nalbandian told reporters on Wednesday.
The Turkish government did not react to the resolution as of Wednesday evening.
It recalled Turkey’s ambassadors to Austria and Luxembourg to Ankara for consultations recently after the parliaments of the two European states recognized the Armenian genocide with similar resolutions. The Turkish ambassador to the Vatican was likewise withdrawn in late April in protest against Pope Francis’s description of the 1915 massacres as “the first genocide of the 20th century.”
The 23 countries that have recognized the genocide also include Brazil’s neighbors Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Bolivia as well as another South American nation, Chile.