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Sarkozy: Turkey Should 'Revisit' History of Armenian Genocide

After taking a swipe at Israel, the French President raises a subject Turkey hates to discuss: the Armenian genocide.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 10/7/2011, 12:40 AM

French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged Turkey on Thursday to "revisit" its history regarding the 1915 massacre of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, AFP reported.

"Turkey, which is a great country, would be honorable to revisit its history like the other great countries in the world have done: Germany, France," Sarkozy told journalists at a joint press conference with Armenian President Serge Sarkisyan.

Sarkozy, who is on a 48-hour tour of the Caucasus, arrived in Armenia on Thursday and will visit Azerbaijan and Georgia as well. His entourage includes four ministers, film director Alain Terzian and singers Charles Aznavour and Helene Segara. He was to meet with the Patriarch of Armenia's Christian church, and then visit the Genocide Memorial Museum to pay respects to Armenians killed by the Ottomans in 1915.

Sarkozy angered Turkey before his election in 2007 by backing a law making it illegal to deny the fact that the Armenians were victims of genocide. The French lower house of parliament later rejected the measure.

Earlier in the week, Sarkozy was quoted as saying that Israel's insistence on being recognized as a Jewish state is "silly."