Foreign Minister respects MPs demand to recognize Armenian genocide

Sigrid Kaag
Sigrid Kaag. (Photo: Rijksoverheid)

Minister Sigrid Kaag of Foreign Affairs respects and appreciates the Tweede Kamer's "enthusiasm" to recognize the Armenian genocide, but she will not comment on the government's stance on "the issue of the Armenian genocide" until she's debated the matter with parliament next week, NOS reports.

A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, supported two motions from ChristenUnie MP Joel Voordewind calling on the and to send a Minister or State Secretary to the commemoration in the Armenian capital of Yerevan in April.

Hundreds of thousands of Armenians were murdered in 1915, at the time of the Ottoman Empire. The Turkish government insists that this was not a planned genocide, but a war situation. The Turks also say that the Armenians were a danger because they were fighting on the side of the Russian enemy. There are therefore always furious reactions from the Turkish capital of Ankara whenever countries announce recognition of the genocide.

The government always refers to this matter as "the issue of the Armenian genocide", and according to Kaag, that is still the case. She added that she respects the relatives' grief about the terrible things that happened in 1915. "It can be important what a thing is called, but we will decide that in the debate with the Kamer", she said to NOS.

Kaag would not say whether a member of the government will attend the commemoration in April. But sources in The Hague told NOS that someone will be there. 

Tags: