Belgian Chamber of Deputies Passes Motion to Recognize Armenian Genocide


Peter de Roover

Peter de Roover

BRUSSELS (Arka/Armenpress) — The Belgian Chamber of Deputies voted to adopt a Resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide at a session on July 23. An overwhelming majority of deputies, (124 out of 132) voted in favor of the measure, the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) reports.

Armenian Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian welcomed the approval by the Belgian Chamber of Representatives.

In his statement, Nalbandian said that the Belgian Senate had passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide 17 years ago and last month Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel confirmed the government’s stance on the matter in his address to the parliament.

Nalbandian said that the passage of the resolution by the Chamber of Representatives completed the process by Belgium.

Member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives Benoit Hellings of the Green Party stated on Wednesday during a discussion over a resolution on the Armenian Genocide, that Armenians in the Ottoman Empire were exterminated just for being Armenian, and that state denial of the Genocide is a part of Turkish history, from Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey, to current president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The Armenian Genocide resolution, authored by Peter De Roover (New Flemish Alliance), Sarah Claerhout (Christian Democratic Flemish Party), and Denis Ducarme (Reform), was the eighth agenda item during the plenary session held on Wednesday.

Ducarme reminded parliament members that the prime minister of Belgium had declared in the Parliament that the Belgian Government recognized the Armenian Genocide.

Claerhout emphasized that the aim of the resolution is to call on Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Member of the Humanist Democratic Centre Jorge Dalemain mentioned that the Young Turks exterminated the Christian minorities in order to create a homogeneous Turkish state.

Stephen Krasner of the Socialist Party mentioned that his party has always recognized the Armenian Genocide.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of Belgium’s House of Representatives voted for the draft resolution on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, sending it for approval in the plenary session of the House of Representatives. The draft resolution recognizes and condemns the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and calls on Turkey and Armenia to seek reconciliation.

The Armenian and Assyrian communities of Belgium had expressed their concern over the wording in a draft resolution on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by Belgium before it was adopted and submitted for voting by the ruling coalition. Drafts submitted by opposition parties did not pass.

Serge Sargisian sent an acknowledgment message to Michel, thanking him for the unequivocal recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

“I express my deepest gratitude for your speech made at the parliament on 18 June this year in which you reaffirmed the Belgian government’s position on this issue. The resolution adopted today by the Chamber of Representatives completes the process of Armenian Genocide recognition by Belgium.

In the context of the Armenian Genocide Centennial, it is important to mobilize the efforts of the international community targeted at the prevention of new crimes against humanity and new genocides.”