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Published On: Fri, Feb 23rd, 2018

Dutch parliament overwhelmingly recognized Armenian genocide, government weasels out

nsnbc : The lower house (Tweede Kamer) of the Dutch Parliament has approved a motion on Thursday, officially recognizing the Armenian genocide. However, the Dutch government, particularly the Foreign Ministry, weaseled out saying it would not follow parliament’s judgement.

The netherlands, Dutch Parliament, Tweede Kamer, Feb 2018The motion recognizing the events of 1915 as genocide has been approved with a vote held on the evening of February 22. The motion was adopted by an overwhelming majority with the support of all major parties. 142 MPs voted in favor of the motion while only 3 voted against.

The motion urged “that parliament in no uncertain terms speak about the Armenian genocide”. Parliaments of over 20 countries around the world have so far passed motions or resolutions recognizing the 1915 events as “genocide”.

However, the situation puts the Dutch government squarely at odds with the overwhelming majority in Parliament. The Foreign Ministry swiftly weaseled out of the potential diplomatic dilemma that is bound to “displease” NATO-partner Turkey.

The Netherlands Foreign Minister Sigrid Kaag said the government would continue discussing “the issue of the Armenian genocide” and continue to approach the topic with “utmost caution”. Kaag also stated, “The cabinet will not follow the House in this matter.”

The Foreign Ministry did not stop at weaseling out of the situation by “being extremely cautious” and at flat out rejecting the validity of a 142  – 3 vote in favor of the resolution. The Dutch vote attracted international attention as a growing number of independent observers see a repetition of Turkey’s genocidal policies, this time around targeting Kurdish populations in Turkey and in northern Syria.

CH/L – nsnbc 23.02.2018

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