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Welsh National Assembly should discuss Armenian Genocide – Matt Withers

01:43, 29.04.2012 Region: World News, Armenia, Turkey Theme: Politics

Armenian presents the concise version of the article of Matt Withers published on Wales Online.

“As a rule the Assembly’s Petitions Committee has a variety of issues to discus. Part of what it is dealing with is utter nonsense.

Two gentlemen came on the steps of the Senedd this week to present their petition to the National Assembly, that is “to designate April 24 in Wales as Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day”.

Only one member of the committee, its chairman, came to take the petition and hurried to inform them that such issues were the concern of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office rather than the National Assembly and Welsh Government.

The petition was signed by 262 people, which is 5 times more than the number of Armenians living in Wales.

It is clear that a genuine diplomatic incident could have occurred in the Assembly if it would have discussed what took place in Armenia in 1915-1916 which, according to Turkey, is not genocide.

In January the  French parliament passed a law on criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turks, and Turkey responded by suspending military, economic and political ties with France as soon as the bill was first adopted by the parliament.

But if that is why Wales’ Assembly avoids discussing the topic, Assembly members should at least be told about that.

Moreover, the Assembly has always discussed topics which were outside its remit – in fact, it spends much of its time discussing UK Government Policy. Designating a day for marking a historical event is well within its powers.

Should the Armenian Genocide be recognized? That’s outside the scope of this column. But it shouldn’t be outside the scope of the Assembly to at least discuss it?” the article reads.

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