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France readies for genocide vote

Jan. 4, 2012 at 12:29 PM

PARIS, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- French lawmakers said they'd vote on an Armenian genocide bill though the country's foreign minister said the measure was counterproductive.

Turkey in December recalled its ambassador from Paris after French lawmakers backed a measure that made it a crime to deny the 1915 atrocities committed against the Armenian population were an act of genocide.

Turkish accounts of the Ottoman-era atrocities differ from Armenian claims regarding the number of people killed though more than a dozen countries recognized the events as genocide.

The French Senate said it would vote on the measure by the end of the month.

French Foreign Minister Alain Juppe was quoted by the BBC as saying the measure was "useless and counterproductive."

Ankara objects to the term genocide. Last year, Turkey reacted angrily to a series of measures passed in Sweden and the United States that described the killing of Armenians in World War I as genocide.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, in an op-ed in the Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman published before the French vote in December, said Paris was making decisions largely for political reasons.

The British broadcaster notes Ankara may send its envoy back to Paris to lobby against the measure.

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