Turkey warns French Socialists on genocide vote

January 17, 2012 00:23

PARIS - A senior Turkish diplomat warned France's opposition Socialists that if they did not block a bill to make it illegal to deny the 1915 mass killing of Armenians by Ottomon Turks, they could damage relations with Ankara after an election this year.

Lawmakers in the lower-house National Assembly voted overwhelmingly last month in favor of a draft law outlawing genocide denial, prompting Ankara to cancel all economic, political and military meetings with Paris and recall its ambassador for consultations.

The bill will be presented to the Senate on Jan. 23 for a final vote, with the process to be completed before parliament is suspended in February ahead of presidential elections.

The Socialist Party, which holds a majority in the Senate since elections in the upper house late last year, indicated last week that most left-wing senators would support it.

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