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UK Ambassador in Armenia denies the Armenian genocide

 
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Sarkis
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 PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 5:56 pm    Post subject: UK Ambassador in Armenia denies the Armenian genocide Reply with quote Back to top

Azg, Yerevan, in Armenian
10 Mar 04 p 5

Armenian paper condemns British envoy for denying genocide


The British ambassador's recent remarks on the 1915 Armenian genocide
are false and offensive, says an article reprinted by the Armenian
newspaper Azg from California Courier. The paper interviewed
Ambassador Thorda Abbott-Watt who said that "the British government
had condemned the massacres as an atrocity at the time, and still
did, but the evidence was not sufficiently unequivocal that what took
place could be categorized as genocide under the 1948 United Nations
Convention on Genocide". At the same time, the paper criticized the
Armenian government for not reacting to the ambassador's statement.
It urged Armenian organizations to condemn the British government's
position and stage demonstrations outside the embassy. The following
is a text of Harut Sassounian report by Armenian newspaper Azg on 10
March headlined "One should not keep silent in this case".
Subheadings have been inserted editorially:

On 20 January, during an interview to the Regnum agency in connection
with the first anniversary of her diplomatic posting in Armenia, the
British ambassador to Armenia made a false and offensive statement on
the Armenian genocide. Ambassador Thorda Abbott-Watt was reported by
Azg newspaper as saying: "Great Britain accepts that the events of
1915 were mass killings (of the Armenian population), the responsible
for which are the Turks. I see no problem calling it brutality. It
shouldn't have taken place even in the course of war. But, I do not
think that recognizing the events as genocide would be of much use."

British envoy's comment

Before writing this column, I sent an e-mail to the British
ambassador to confirm that she was accurately quoted. She responded
by saying: "On the events of 1915, I said words to the effect quoted,
but the translation has come out slightly clumsily. What I said was
that I understood the strength of feeling in Armenia about what
happened and that I knew that this was an issue which still touched
people very deeply nearly ninety years on. The British government had
condemned the massacres as an atrocity at the time, and still did.
But the evidence was not sufficiently unequivocal that what took
place could be categorized as genocide under the 1948 United Nations
Convention on Genocide and that while the debate continued among
historians and lawyers, we believed that there was a role for us in
encouraging countries in the region to look to the future and to work
actively for better relations and a lessening of tension."

In my response to her, I pointed out that I had no quarrel with her
personally, since as ambassador, she was merely expressing the
position of her government. Nevertheless, I inquired if she could
explain why the British government would take the highly offensive
and incorrect position that the Armenian genocide did not fit the UN
definition of genocide. I told her that I was quite familiar with the
UN definition, as I had spent 10 years lobbying at the UN for the
acceptance of the Armenian genocide. In 1985, the UN Subcommission on
the Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities finally
recognized the Armenian genocide as a genocide, and included it as
such in its report on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide. I found it absurd that the British government would
question the compatibility of the Armenian genocide with the UN
definition, since the UN itself had taken the position that the
Armenian Genocide perfectly fit its definition of genocide! It is
quite upsetting that any ambassador sitting in Yerevan would have the
audacity to dispute that what happened to the Armenians in 1915 was
genocide!

No Armenian reaction so far


It is even more upsetting that in the past six weeks, not a single
Armenian government official, nor the representative of any political
organization, indeed not a single Armenian has bothered to respond to
the ambassador's insulting words on the Armenian genocide! By now,
there should have been dozens of statements issued by various
Armenian entities, both in Armenia and the diaspora, condemning both
the British ambassador and her government. There should have been
daily demonstrations in front of the British embassy in Yerevan. The
Armenian Foreign Ministry should have delivered a diplomatic note of
protest to the ambassador and put her on notice that the Armenian
government would not tolerate such offensive statements. In a recent
interview she gave to a journalist in Armenia, Ambassador Abott-Watt
said: "I like a good khorovads [kebab]. By the time I leave Armenia,
I hope I'll be able to make good khorovads." If the Armenians would
react strongly to her deeply injurious statement on the genocide,
before she returns to London, she may also learn that distorting the
facts of the Armenian genocide is highly offensive to Armenians and a
sin against all victims of crimes against humanity. By their silence,
Armenians are simply encouraging the British and others to continue
questioning the facts of the Armenian genocide.

Imagine what would have happened if some ambassador would have been
foolish enough to give a press conference in the middle of Tel Aviv,
saying that the Holocaust was simply "an atrocity" or "a brutality"
and did not fit the UN definition of genocide! That ambassador would
have been kicked out of Israel within 24 hours. Armenians not only
should raise their voices in protest against the British ambassador,
more importantly, they should urge Armenian government officials and
political organizations not to remain silent in the face of such
denials!
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iminhokis
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 PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

A1 Plus | 19:48:07 | 23-04-2004 | Politics |

HARUTYUN SHIKLANYAN UNHAPPY ABOUT BRITISH AMBASSADOR'S WORDS

Harutyun Shiklanyan, 81, has decided to return the medals received from
British Ambassador in 2003 for the bravery shown in World War II.

"I can't come to terms with the fact of humiliation of my nation he said
referring to British Ambassador's recent statement that the 1915 events
shouldn't be called genocide. I think after such a statement several
thousands people had to gather outside the Embassy in a protest", he says.
 
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iminhokis
Wizards


Joined: 25 Oct 2003
Posts: 3321

 PostPosted: Mon Apr 26, 2004 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

A1 Plus | 14:07:54 | 24-04-2004 | Social |

GREAT BRITAIN AMBASSADOR IN TSITSERNAKABERD

Some Ambassadors in Armenia including United Kingdom Ambassador Thorda
Abbott-Watt who refuted the fact of the Armenian Genocide have today
visited Tsitsernakaberd.
 
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