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PARIS, January 24 (Itar-Tass) – Armenia’s Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian has thanked “the President, Senate, National Assembly, government, and people of the friendly France” for the adoption of a law declaring the denial of genocide of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1917 a criminal offense.
“The decision taken by the Senate comes as a logical continuation of the 2001 law on recognition by France of the genocide of Armenians,” Nalbandian said in a statement published by the press service of the Foreign Ministry early morning Tuesday.
“This date will be inscribed with golden letters in the history of friendship of the French and Armenian peoples, as well as in the records of struggle for human rights across the word,” he said.
He believes that the French law “will augment the existing mechanisms of averting the crimes against humanity.”
“France has once again reiterated its key role as the defender of common human values,” Nalbandian said.
According to Armenian television channels, the French Senate’s endorsement of the law was met jubilantly by the ethnic Armenian community in France that numbers 450,000 to 500,000 persons and by the entire global community of Armenians outside their historical homeland.
The Senate’s session was broadcast live by two TV channels in Armenia.
In the meantime, the Turkish embassy in Paris issued a harsh reaction to the Senate’s vote with the embassy official representative Engin Solakoglu saying the effectuation of the law will exert a most radical impact on relations between France and Turkey.
France is losing a strategic partner and a transition of the bill into law will have long-term consequences, he said.
French Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said earlier Turkey’s sanctions against Paris will be irrevocable. Those who think that the sanctions will first be introduced and then revised simply do not know Turkey at all, he said.
The law passed by the Senate makes the denial of genocide of the Armenian people in the Ottoman Empire punishable by twelve months in jail or a penalty in the amount of 45,000 euros.