YEREVAN: French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Thursday urged Turkey to take responsibility for the 1915 massacre of Armenians, calling its refusal to recognise the deaths as genocide as “unacceptable”.
Sarkozy’s comments, issued at the start of his first state visit to Armenia, whose diaspora represents a large voting minority in France, come months before a presidential election which he heads into with approval ratings at a low.
“Turkey, which is a great country, would be honorable to revisit its history like the other great countries in the world have done: Germany, France,” Sarkozy said at the top of a two-day, three nation swing through the Caucasus.
France has recognised mass killings of Armenians in the Ottoman empire as genocide a decade ago, a bold step that pressure from Turkey has prevented in countries with a large Armenian diaspora such as the United States.
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