News / Asia

Sweden's FM Denounces Parliament Vote on Armenian Genocide

Carl Bildt tells reporters vote was 'regrettable' and 'serves no useful purpose'

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt has denounced a parliamentary resolution that recognizes the killings of Armenians by Ottoman Turks as genocide.

Bildt held talks with his Turkish counterpart late Friday on the sidelines of a meeting of European foreign ministers in Finland.  He told reporters on Saturday that the vote in Sweden's parliament was "regrettable" and "serves no useful purpose."

Swedish lawmakers by a narrow margin Thursday passed the resolution recognizing the "genocide of Armenians."  Days earlier, there was a similar vote by a U.S. congressional committee.

Turkey condemned both measures and recalled its ambassadors from the United States and Sweden.

Armenians say Ottoman Turks slaughtered as many as 1.5 million people from 1915 until 1923.

Turkey recognizes that Armenians were killed, but says the death toll is greatly exaggerated.  It says the Armenians died in a civil war that accompanied the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Saturday that parliaments should not try to define history.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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