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Turkey welcomes French annulment of "genocide" bill

(Xinhua)

09:06, February 29, 2012

ANKARA, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Turkey on Tuesday welcomed the annulment by the Constitutional Council of France of a law that would incriminate people who deny the mass killing of the Armenians in 1915 was "genocide."

"We consider the annulment of the law as a step in line with freedom of expression and research, rule of law and the principles of international law and against the politicization of history in France," said the statement issued by the Turkish Foreign Ministry.

It went on to say that the Turkish government is "glad to note that a grave error was corrected by the most competent judicial authority in France."

"It is preferable that, on controversial historical issues, third countries adopt an impartial approach encouraging dialogue and resolution between the concerned parties, rather than make imprudent and prejudicial interventions," said the statement.

"We hope that, from now on, France will adopt a constructive approach so that this controversy between Turkey and Armenia is addressed on a just and scholarly basis," said the statement, adding that "such an approach will contribute to the development of the Turkish-French relationship in the direction it deserves and in all fields."

French parliament passed the bill last month, which would impose a 60,530-U.S.-dollar fine and a year in prison on those who deny that the deaths of over one million Armenians under the Ottoman rule amounted to "genocide."

Tensions tainted relations between Paris and Ankara, which rejects the term "genocide," insisting that the killed Armenians were victims of widespread chaos and governmental breakdown as the Ottoman Empire collapsed before modern Turkey was created.

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