Netherlands at Armenian genocide commemoration
For the first time ever, a member of the Dutch government attended the commemoration fo the Armenian genocide of 1915 and 1916 in Yerevan.
State Secretary Menno Snel of Finance was at the ceremony in the Armenian capital, at the insistence of the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament. In the presence of the other foreign guests, he lay flowers at the monument for the victims, NOS reports.
In February the Tweede Kamer officially recognized the genocide. In 1915 and 1916 hundreds of thousands of Armenians were murdered in the Ottoman Empire. Turkey denies that this was a deliberate genocide, instead calling it 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 D66 State Secretary refused to comment on his attendance at the commemoration, and also said he won't talk about it afterward, according to NOS. The official statement released by the government says that in Yerevan Snel paid "respect to all victims and survivors of all murders of minorities" on behalf of the cabinet.