Turkey severs military ties with France

Nov. 16, 2006 at 8:40 AM

ANKARA, Turkey, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Turkey has severed military ties with France over a century-old dispute involving the alleged slaughter of Armenians.

At issue is the French Parliament's adoption of a draft bill that makes it a crime to deny Turks committed genocide against Armenians in the late Ottoman period during World War I, the Cihan news agency reported Thursday.

While the bill still requires the approval of the French Senate and president to become law, Turkish Land Forces commander, Gen. Ilker Basbug said he was following the Turkish parliament's lead.

"There are no high-level (military) visits between the two countries," Basbug said.

Last month, Turkey's Grand National Assembly issued a declaration denouncing France's insistence of genocide.

"The French National Assembly has not only inflicted great damage on bilateral ties but has also dealt a blow to efforts to normalize our ties with Armenia," the declaration said.

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