Czech President Wants Parliament To Recognize Armenian Genocide

By Danielle Saroyan

Czech President Milos Zeman says he will ask parliament to adopt a resolution recognizing the massacre of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago as genocide, RFE/RL reports. On June 8, Zeman met with Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan where they signed a Memorandum on the Bilateral Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Czech Republic.

“I expressed the satisfaction of the Armenian side about the unanimously adopted resolution on the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Czech Chamber of Deputies as well as unambiguous attitude of the Czech President on the matter,” President Sargsyan told the press following his meeting with President Zeman. “The historic resolution on recognizing the Armenian Genocide by the German Bundestag on these days comes to prove that the process of recognition is irreversible – falsifying history, denying facts and spouting intimidation cannot stop it.”

The Czech president’s latest comments come after Germany recognized the killings as genocide, adopting the Armenian Genocide resolution on June 2.

“The vote by the German parliament follows other European countries in acknowledging this painful chapter in history as well as the resolutions adopted by the European Parliament conditioning Turkey’s EU admission to coming to terms with its genocidal past,” stated Armenian Assembly Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.  "The Assembly applauds the Bundestag’s principled stand, especially as Turkey continues to blockade Armenia – the last closed border in Europe – refuses to normalize relations with Armenia and unconditionally supported Azerbaijan’s recent attempt to once again wipe Armenians off the map in Nagorno Karabakh,“ Ardouny continued.

While in Yerevan, President Zeman visited the Genocide Memorial where he laid a wreath and paid tribute to the memory of innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide. Zeman also planted a fir tree at the Memory Park of the Tsitsernakaberd Complex, and made an inscription at the Book of Honorary Guests of the Genocide Museum-Institute.

Previously, during Sargsyan’s official visit to Prague in January 2014, Zeman publicly called the killings of Armenians during World War I a genocide.

The same day, Sargsyan and Zeman signed a joint declaration on friendly relations, partnership, and enhanced cooperation between the Republic of Armenia and the Czech Republic. In this declaration, both sides underlined the necessity of holding more regular bilateral visits and consultations on issues of mutual interest.

They also discussed the conflict in Artsakh, where both Sargsyan and Zeman “express their support to the efforts of the OSCE Minsk Group to resolve the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and in this respect stress that the conflict should be resolved exclusively by peaceful means, based on the principles of international law,” the joint declaration states.

“We highly value the position of the Czech Republic concerning the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which is in line with the general stance of the EU and is in full support of the efforts of the OSCE Minsk group co-chairs,” President Sargsyan said. “I extended my special gratitude to Mr. President and the government of the Czech Republic for this attitude.”

Photo Caption 1: On June 8, President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman paid tribute to the memory of victims of the Armenian Genocide.

Photo Caption 2: President of the Czech Republic Milos Zeman speaking with President Serzh Sargsyan.

About Armenian Assembly of America

Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues. The Assembly is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.

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