France urges Turkey not to overreact to genocide law

By REUTERS
January 24, 2012 09:30

PARIS - France urged Turkey not to overreact on Tuesday after the French parliament adopted a bill making it illegal to deny the mass killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks nearly a century ago was genocide.

Speaking on Canal+ television Foreign Minister Alain Juppe, who was personally against the move, said the new law was "ill-timed", but called on Ankara to remain calm.

Lawmakers in the upper house (Senate) voted in favor of the draft law outlawing genocide denial on Monday after almost six hours of debate. The lower house had backed it in December, prompting Ankara to cancel all economic, political and military meetings with Paris and recall its ambassador for consultations.

"We need good relations with it and we need to get through this excessive phase," Juppe said. "We have very important economic and trade ties. I hope the reality of the situation will not be usurped by emotions."

The bill now goes to President Nicolas Sarkozy to be ratified.


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