Belgium Senate Resolution


March 26, 1998

"...that the recognition of mistakes and crimes of the past is a precondition for reconciliation between peoples and that there cannot be peace without justice..."


26 March 1998

Belgian Senate

1997-1998 Session

Resolution 1-736/3 Concerning the 1915 Genocide of Armenians living in Turkey

The Senate,

Considering the numerous studies dedicated to the situation of the Armenian population in Turkey at the beginning of the 20th century;

Considering the UN convention on the prevention and punishment of genocide, which provides a definition of the concept of genocide;

Considering the judicial verdicts that have applied this term to describe the state of Armenians living in Turkey in 1915, more specifically the verdict of the 'tribunal de grande instance' in Paris on 21 June 1995;

Considering the resolution by the European Parliament on 18 June 1987 concerning a "political solution to the Armenian Question", wherein it is recognized that the Armenians living in Turkey in 1915 were the victims of a genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman government of the time;

Considering that there cannot be the slightest doubt over the historical evidence regarding the organized and systematic murder of the Armenians;

Considering that the recognition of mistakes and crimes of the past is a precondition for reconciliation between peoples and that there cannot be peace without justice, either in Armenia or elsewhere;

Furthermore considering that only through the recognition of crimes committed by previous regimes it is possible to distance oneself from their aims and strive politically for reconciliation;

Considering that the differences between the Turkish and Armenian nations continue to drag on and even today lead to the loss of human lives, to the eviction of ethnic groups and to numerous violations of human rights in that region;

Considering that the Turkish and Armenian peoples have no choice but to co-exist peacefully in the long term;

Considering the friendly ties and co-operation between, on the one hand, Turkey, Belgium and the European Union and, on the other hand, Armenia, Belgium and the European Union;

Remarking that the 1987 resolution by the European Parliament has not led the Turkish government to recognize the historic reality of the 1915 genocide;

Requests the Turkish government to recognize the historic reality of the genocide committed in 1915 by the last government of the Ottoman Empire;

Requests the parliaments of the member states of the European Union to contribute to the reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian peoples;

Requests the European Union and its member states to lend their support to initiatives in all domains aimed at promoting a dialogue between the Armenian and Turkish peoples;

Asks the government to transmit this resolution to the prime minister of the Turkish government, to the chairman of the European parliament, to the chairman of the European Commission, to the chairmen of the parliaments of the member states of the European Union, as well as to the chairman of the parliament of the Republic of Armenia.