Tuesday, April 10, 2007

53 Nobel Prize winners call on Armenia and Turkey for reconciliation


YEREVAN (YERKIR) - The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity has published a call that urges Armenia and Turkey for reconciliation, undersigned by 53 Nobel Prize winners.

Executive Director of the Foundation David Phillips was the initiator of this action, who earlier coordinated works of Armenia-Turkey Reconciliation Committee. David Phillips told RFE/RL that the Nobel Prize winners call on the Turkish government to end up with discrimination towards national and religious minorities and cancel Article 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, which supposes criminal punishment for “insulting Turkishness”. Nobel Prize winners call on Armenia to “give opportunity for holding free and fair elections, as well as respect human rights”.

Alongside they urge Turkey to open borders with neighboring Armenia, speed up mutual contacts and establish full diplomatic relations. They offer to use legal approach for settling the problem of recognizing the Armenian Genocide, at the same time underlining that the UN Convention on genocide has never had retroaction, and consequently, cannot “be used as a base for compensations or territorial claims”.

“There exists a huge gap among Turks and Armenians in the issue of realizing the Armenian Genocide. In order to settle the problem we turn to legal examination of UN Convention on preventing and punishing genocide crimes, which contains conclusions of scientists who have studied fact of genocide. In particular, the Convention says, “events at the beginning of the 20th century contain all elements of Genocide, approved by the convention,” the document underscores, PanARMENIAN.Net reported.

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.



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