Politics 20:34 24/04/2016 World

Deutsche Welle: If Merkel backs out the Armenian Genocide resolution, may face further criticism over kowtowing to Turkey

As Armenia commemorates 101 years since the Great Crime, Germany is still not sure whether "genocide" is officially the right word. A scheduled early-June debate in the Bundestag could complicate relations with Turkey, Deutsche Welle writes.

As the source reports, April 24 commemorates the 101st anniversary of the events that commonly refer to as the Armenian Genocide. And, if a plan agreed to by the ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) and their Bavarian sister party, the Christian Social Union, comes to fruition; Germany could also do so soon. Or at the very least discuss doing so - once again.

The decision by the governing coalition, which includes the Social Democrats, was forced when the opposition Greens introduced a resolution in February to recognize the massacre, deportation and starvation of up to 1.5 million Armenians during the dying days of the Ottoman Empire as "genocide."

The Greens ultimately pulled the measure after the governing coalition agreed to work on a joint resolution. That was good timing for Chancellor Angela Merkel and her EU counterparts ahead of March's critical summit to seal a controversial deal on refugees and deportations with Turkey.
The Bundestag will likely take up the debate on June 2 - just before the summer parliamentary recess - according to an agreement reached in April between the Greens and the government, the source informs.

It reminds, that last April 24, on the 100th anniversary of the Bundestag postponed voting on a similar resolution to classify the mass killings as genocide. Yet the accompanying debate clearly showed that parliamentarians from all factions in parliament viewed the massacre as such.

German President Joachim Gauck and CDU Bundestag President Norbert Lammert both used the term to describe the cleansing of ethnic Armenians from eastern Anatolia. The draft resolution also recognized Germany's role in the killings as an Ottoman allies in World War I and called for a rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia.

According to the source, the governing coalition opted not to vote on the resolution last April For strategic reasons, “to avoid a confrontation with Turkey at a time when large numbers of displaced people were transiting the country en route to Germany and the European Union.”

The fact that Germany and the EU have now signed a pact with Turkey on refugees - a deal that officials in Ankara have repeatedly threatened to withdraw from - puts additional pressure on Merkel's government, reads the article, adding given Germany's need for Turkey's cooperation with refugees and deportations, it is unclear how or if a vote in June would proceed, while backing out could set up Merkel for further criticism that she is kowtowing to Turkey.

Source Panorama.am
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