Netherlands won't use 'genocide' term for 1915 events, says Dutch Deputy PM

ANADOLU AGENCY
THE HAGUE
Published 04.06.2016 23:21
Updated 05.06.2016 10:26
emREUTERS Photo/em
REUTERS Photo

The Dutch government will not describe the 1915 events involving Armenians as "genocide" and instead continue to refer to it as an "issue," Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher said Saturday.

Speaking on a radio program, Asscher said the government would rather use the word "issue" when describing the events, a practice which he said was approved by the Dutch parliament in 2004.

The deputy prime minister said the international courts should handle the veracity of such incidents, adding that his government had nothing to do with the issue.

Asscher added that the Netherlands would engage in efforts to establish dialogue between Turkey and Armenia instead of creating legal disputes.

In 2015, the Dutch parliament rejected a motion about the 1915 events submitted by the opposition far-right Party for Freedom and Christian Unity.

On Thursday, the lower house of the German parliament approved a non-binding resolution recognizing Armenian claims of "genocide" during the 1915 events.

The resolution accused the Ottoman government of 1915 of allegedly carrying out "systematic genocide" against Armenians, as well as other Christian minorities.

Turkey denies the alleged Armenian "genocide," but acknowledges that there were casualties on both sides during the events, which took place during World War I.

According to Turkey's viewpoint, deaths of Armenians in eastern Anatolia in 1915 occurred after some sided with invading Russians and revolted against Ottoman forces. A subsequent relocation of Armenians resulted in numerous casualties.

Turkey describes the 1915 events as a tragedy for both sides.

Ankara has repeatedly proposed the creation of a joint commission of historians from Turkey and Armenia along with international experts to tackle the issue.

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