Edward Nalbandian:

"Turkey's objections and arguments against the bill criminalizing the Armenian Genocide denial in France are, to put it mildly, weak and groundless," Foreign Minister of Armenia Edward Nalbandian said in a press conference Monday.

He said Armenia has expressed its appreciation of the people and leadership of France after relevant bill was passed in the parliament of that country. "Today that bill is on agenda of the Senate," Nalbandian mentioned. He said that the bill bears no relation to normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations. "What hinders the Armenian-Turkish normalization is the stance of the Turkish party. And the world community is well aware of that. Therefore, 'the ball is said to be on Turkey's side of the pitch now,'" the minister said.

He said that the arguments saying that France and Turkey have certain economic interests and Turkey has a certain part in the regional issues smell of corruption. "It is not only blackmail. They want to offer a bribe. This bill is in line with the European Union's framework decision dated Nov 28 2008. I do not think that human values are replaceable with any arguments, especially such as Turkey makes," Nalbandian said.

On December 22 2011 the French National Assembly Commission for Constitutional Laws, Legislation and General Administration of the Republic passed the bill authored by Valerie Boyer of the Union for
Popular Movement (UMP) by the proposal of several Senate members. The bill is criminalizing the Armenian genocide denial, amends the law on freedom press criminalizing, proposing a clause on racially motivating crimes. The new bill stipulates one year in prison and a fine in the amount of 45,000 Euros for anyone who denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide in the territory of France, which officially recognized the Armenian genocide on Jan 29 2001. The bill has been submitted to the Senate.

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