The resolution was drafted by the parliament’s foreign affairs committee and approved by 58 votes to 11, with 7 abstentions.
It says that the mass killings and deportations of Armenians, which began with the April 1915 mass arrests of Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople, constituted a genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman government. It notes that the European Parliament first recognized the genocide in 1987.
The resolution also says Latvia believes that condemnation of all crimes against humanity is important for preventing a repeat of such tragedies in the future.
Armenia’s outgoing ambassador to the Baltic state, Tigran Mkrtchian, hailed the development and thanked Latvian lawmakers for “addressing this issue extremely important for the Armenian people.”
“What was hard to imagine years ago became a reality today,” Mkrtchian wrote on his Facebook page.
Predictably, the Latvian resolution was condemned by Turkey, which continues to strongly a deny a premeditated government effort to exterminate the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population. The Turkish Foreign Ministry said it is devoid of “any legal basis.”
The vehement Turkish denials are dismissed by most scholars outside Turkey.
The Armenian genocide has also been recognized by the parliaments and/or governments of three dozen other countries, including Latvia’s Baltic neighbor Lithuania as well as the United States, Russia, France, Germany and Italy.
U.S. President Joe Biden used the word “genocide” in his April 24 statement on the 106th anniversary of the World War One-era slaughter of Ottoman Armenians.