President Serzh Sarkisian thanked Germany’s leaders and main political parties on Thursday for officially acknowledging, in a parliamentary resolution, that the First World War-era mass killings of Armenians in Ottoman Turkey constituted genocide.
Sarkisian sent what his office called “letters of gratitude” to German President Joachim Gauck, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Bundestag President Norbert Lammert several hours after the lower house of Germany’s parliament passed a corresponding resolution.
“The recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the German Bundestag was a truly historic step not only for Armenia and the Armenian people, Germany and the German people, but also for the entire civilized world,” he wrote.
“It symbolizes the supremacy of democracy, universal values and underscores Germany’s consistent role in the promotion of those values,” he said. “It sends a message to the entire world to the effect that even century-old crimes against humanity are not only not forgotten but also condemned with a correct definition.”
In an interview with a leading German daily published on Wednesday, Sarkisian urged the Bundestag not to be “intimidated” by Turkey’s threats to retaliate against the genocide recognition. He also said that that Germany should not rely on “a partner like Turkey” in solving Europe’s ongoing refugee crisis.