Pope’s statement to accelerate Armenian Genocide recognition – expert

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The statement by Pope Francis will accelerate the process of recognition and condemnation of the Armenian Genocide, claimed Director of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia Ruben Safrastyan.

On Sunday, at the beginning of the Mass, dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Francis Pope stated that in the 20th century, the mankind experienced three “big unprecedented tragedies”: the Armenian Genocide, Nazism and Stalinism. Pope described the tortures experienced by Armenians, Syrian Catholics and Orthodox Christians, Assyrians and Greeks as “the first Genocide of the 20th century.” After that, the Vatican Ambassador to Ankara was summoned to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, and the Turkish Ambassador to the Vatican was recalled for consultations.

“I saw Pope’s presentation; his statement is unprecedented. It is of great importance, because for the first time Pope has condemned the Armenian Genocide so clearly by comparing this crime with two other examples of criminal policy,” said Safrastyan.

According to him, the fact that the world media are spreading the statement, promotes the recognition and condemnation of the Genocide, as Pope is highly respected.

“The process of recognition and condemnation will not only continue but will accelerate, especially in those countries where the majority of people are Catholics,” stressed Safrastyan.

The Armenian Genocide of 1915 was the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey traditionally rejects the accusations of the mass extermination of about half million Armenians during the First World War and it is highly sensitive to the Western criticism in the issue of the Armenian Genocide.

The Armenian Genocide is recognized by many countries, including Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, the Italian Lower House of Parliament, majority of US states, Parliaments of Greece, Cyprus, Argentina, Belgium and Wales, the National Council of Switzerland, the Canadian House of Commons, and the Polish Sejm.

Text by AMI NOVOSTI-ARMENIA

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