Open letter to EU Ambassador Andrea Wiktorin after avoiding to use the term “Armenian Genocide” on 24. April, 2020

Brussels, 11 May 2020

Open letter

Subject: Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide 24. April 2020

Honourable Ambassador,

Dear Ms. Wiktorin

I am writing to you in my capacity as the President of the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy (EAFJD) – a Pan-European grassroots organization representing a significant part of the European citizens of Armenian origin, many of whom are successors of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

On 24. April, 2020 – the day of the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, the EU Mission to Armenia published a post on this occasion on Twitter, where unlike in the past years, for instance in 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016 the Mission avoided using the term “Armenian Genocide” and instead ambiguously referred to “tragic events” .

The aim of this statement might well have been to commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide. Nevertheless, as descendants of the survivors of the Armenian Genocide myself and many members of our organization, we regrettably have to note that such a statement of the EU Mission to Armenia falls short of paying tribute to the 1.5 million innocent victims. Unfortunately, the wording used does not accurately reflect the scope of what the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire had to go through and is simply a dangerously vague and potentially misleading euphemism. A genuine and acceptable commemoration requires acknowledging the truth and speaking it out.

As you know, in 2015 the European Parliament (EP) adopted a resolution on the centenary of the Genocide where the EP reinforces its stance of 1987, officially recognizes, condemns the Armenian Genocide and calls on Turkey to come to terms with its past. On 9. December 2019 – the international day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime, the EU External Action Service also made a reference to the Armenian Genocide.

As European citizens we do believe that one of the main strengths of the European Union is its commitment to upholding human rights and justice. We therefore sincerely hope that when referring to the Armenian Genocide the EU Mission to Armenia uses the term that reflects the true scope of what happened.

Sincerely,

Kaspar Karampetian

EAFJD President

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