RIGA – Latvian parliament on May 6, recognized the Armenian Genocide by the adoption of a “Declaration on the Armenian Genocide during the Ottoman Empire”. The almost unanimously adopted declaration notes the “importance of commemorating the loss of life of those killed in the Armenian genocide, massacres, and forced relocations organized by the Ottoman authorities, which began on April 24, 1915 with the arrest of Armenian intellectuals and activists in what was then Constantinople.”
In its Declaration, the Latvian legislative body condemns all crimes against humanity, shows full awareness of the obligation of legislators to recognize and commemorate these crimes in order to prevent their recurrence. and parliament calls on the international community “to assess these historic events, to look to the future we want to build, without violence, intolerance, a future where human rights are respected, where everyone can be free, safe and secure.”
The Saeima takes note of “the UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the European Parliament’s resolution of 18 June 1987 recognizing that these events constitute genocide within the meaning of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.”
With its wording, the Latvian Parliament Saeima is closely following the carefully chosen wording of US President Joe Biden when he acknowledged the Armenian Genocide as such in a statement on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day.
And like Biden, the Latvian Parliament makes no mention of the parallel genocides of Syriacs and Pontic Greeks. Under the rule of the pan-Turkic Committee for Unity and Progress, Armenians, as well as Syriacs and Pontic Greeks lost their lives in the mass murders on Christians in the Ottoman Empire, planned and perpetrated by the Ottoman Turks and allied Kurdish clans.
In December 2019, the U.S. Senate unanimously adopted Res. 150 giving “recognition and remembrance” to the Armenian genocide. Senate Resolution 150 recognizes and condemns the Genocide of 1915 on the Christian Syriac, Armenian, and Pontus-Greek peoples: “Whereas the United States has a proud history of recognizing and condemning the Armenian Genocide, the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, and providing relief to the survivors of the campaign of genocide against Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Syriacs, Arameans, Maronites, and other Christians,” states Senate Resolution 150.
In related news, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, visiting Yerevan for 2 days for diplomatic talks, visited the Armenian Genocide memorial and laid a wreath in tribute to the memory of victims the genocide. Russia recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1995.