A majority in the Tweede Kamer, the lower house of Dutch parliament, approved two motions regarding the Armenian genocide of 1915 on Thursday. One states that the Tweede Kamer "recognizes the Armenian genocide", the other that a Dutch Minister or State Secretary should attend the commemoration of this genocide in Armenia in April. This decision is expected to further sour the relationship between Turkey and the Netherlands, ANP reports. Both motions were submitted by ChristenUnie parliamentarian Joel Voordewind. All four coalition parties supported the motions.
Dutch parliament recognises Armenian genocide
The lower house of the Dutch parliament approved a motion on Friday to recognise the mass killings of Armenians during World War One as genocide, local English-language news website the NL Times said.
It also said a Dutch minister or state secretary should attend the annual commemoration of the genocide in Armenia in April, the site said.
The move is likely to anger Turkey, which denies the mass killing of Armenians in 1915 constitutes genocide.
"We can not deny history out of fear of sanctions. Our country houses the capital of international law after all, so we must not be afraid to do the right thing here too," the site quoted Joel Voordewind, a member of one of the governing coalition parties, as saying.
The Netherlands officially withdrew its ambassador from Turkey last week following the failure of negotiations for his return after the Dutch government refused to allow a Turkish minister to make a speech in favour of a presidential system to locally-based Turkish citizens last year.