Shahid, who is also the foreign minister of Maldives, arrived in Armenia on Tuesday on a three-day trip involving talks with the country’s president, foreign minister and senior lawmakers.
On Wednesday, he visited the Tsitsernakabert memorial to some 1.5 million Armenians massacred by the Ottoman Turks during the First World War. He also toured the adjacent Museum-Institute of the Armenian Genocide.
“Laid a wreath at the Memorial to the Victims of Armenian Genocide,” Shahid tweeted afterwards. “Special thanks to Museum-Institute Director Harutyun Marutian & Hasmik Martirosian for a tour of the Museum.”
The post was removed several hours later. Shahid on Thursday refused to comment on that.
Reacting to his tweet, the Turkish Foreign Ministry charged on Wednesday that Shahid’s trip to Armenia was “exploited with the purpose of exposing one-sided Armenian claims” about the events of 1915.
“Mr. Shahid, who assumes the Presidency of the UN General Assembly, would have been expected to act in a fair and impartial manner, to be more careful and responsible in this regard,” said in a statement.
The Armenian government did not respond to Ankara as of Thursday afternoon.
Shahid met with Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan earlier in the day. The two men also attended and addressed a graduation ceremony held at the Armenian Foreign Ministry’s Diplomatic School.
The Armenian genocide has been recognized by the governments and/or parliaments of more than two dozen nations, including France, Germany, Russia and the United States.
Turkey has for decades denied a premeditated government effort to exterminate the Ottoman Empire’s Armenian population. The vehement Turkish denials are dismissed by most scholars outside Turkey.