In an interview with Armenian News-NEWS.am, Ambassador of the Republic of Armenia to Italy Victoria Baghdasaryan talked about the preparations for recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Italian Chamber of Deputies, Turkey’s resistance and the Deputies’ justifications.
Armenian News-NEWS.am: Mrs. Baghdasaryan, how was it possible to achieve acceptance of the initiative for recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the Chamber of Deputies of Italy and circumvent Turkey’s resistance?
Victoria Baghdasaryan: It’s no secret that it takes a long time to prepare for the consideration of such issues in parliaments. During the meetings with deputies representing various political parties, the deputies were extremely sensitive to the issue of the Armenian Genocide, and eventually there came a moment when deputy of the ruling Lega Party Paolo Formentini authored the initiative. Another 34 MPs of all political parties represented in parliament co-authored the initiative. When there is such unified political will, it is hard for a third country to try to have an influence on the parliament of a country with well-established democratic institutions like Italy. With this step, Italy reaffirmed its loyalty to universal values and made its contribution to the prevention of genocides and crimes against humanity.
Armenian News-NEWS.am: What was the message to Turkey? What were the justifications of the Chamber of Deputies of Italy in favor of recognition?
Victoria Baghdasaryan: With this initiative, the Chamber of Deputies of Italy is sending another message to Turkey to come to grips with its past. In their speeches, the deputies stressed the fact that the Armenian massacres in the Ottoman Empire in the early 20th century were genocide and that the purpose of the initiative is to restore historical justice and to prevent new crimes against humanity by learning lessons from the mistakes made in the past.
Armenian News-NEWS.am: Have you had meetings with Italian government officials? What is their stance?
Victoria Baghdasaryan: I have meetings with Italy’s government officials on a regular basis. We discuss various issues on the agenda of the multilayered relations between Italy and Armenia. For reasons known to us all, all governments express a more moderate position on sensitive issues.