France says genocide bill to become law in two weeks

January 24, 2012 18:49

PARIS - A French law making it illegal to deny the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks a century ago will come into effect within the next fortnight, President Nicolas Sarkozy's office said on Tuesday.

Lawmakers in the upper house of parliament (Senate) voted in favor of the draft bill outlawing genocide on Monday, after heated debate, prompting angry retaliation from Turkey which threatened to cut diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Sarkozy now has to ratify the law before it can come into force. "The President of the Republic will promulgate the law withing the usual time-frame, that is two weeks," a source at the presidential office told Reuters.

In a letter sent to Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on January 18 and made public on Tuesday, Sarkozy said the law did not target a particular state, and urged Ankara to take into account its "common interests" with France.

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