French President vows new Armenian genocide bill after his FM’s controversial remarks

French President vows new Armenian genocide bill after his FM’s controversial remarks

Photo: www.elysee.fr

French President Francois Hollande has said he plans a new law to punish denial that the Ottoman-era mass killing of Armenians was genocide.


A previous law approved by the French parliament was struck down in February by the Constitutional Council, which said it infringed freedom of speech.

The issue strained the Franco-Turkish relations and led to Ankara imposing sanctions against Paris.

Hollande’s predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy had also ordered his government to draft a new law after the old one was struck down.

“Francois Hollande has again expressed his willingness to propose a bill designed to curb the denial of the Armenian genocide, as he had said during his campaign and even before,” the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organisations of France (CCAF) told the AFP news agency.

A delegation from the CCAF will meet with Hollande before the end of the month to discuss what form the new law would take, according to French media reports.

On Thursday, remarks by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius during a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu appeared to indicate that the Constitutional Council’s ruling would make it impossible to take up the issue again.

However, Hollande’s office said on Saturday: “The president expressed his commitments during the campaign. He will keep them. We must find a path, a road that allows for a text that is consistent with the constitution.”